Character and language

papersky on how language choice is part of characterization, with some thoughts on how there are really more than three POVs one can use, too.

I agree with pretty much all she’s saying. One of the things that can make a book fail for me is if just about everything isn’t filtered through the point of view, whether it’s very tight on one character or an omniscient outside narrators. Everyone tells a story–sees that story–differently. This affects language, description, how setting is conveyed, everything.

It’s also part of that elusive thing called voice. (Do adult writers get comments often about whether or not their story has a strong voice? This is one of the fairly common reasons YA and middle grade books get rejected.)

Recently, in a discussion on a list I’m on, someone commented that they were comfortable with selling all rights to a piece because they could always re-tell it from another point of view. Except, I don’t think one can, really. Change whose telling the tale, and you’re telling a completely different story. Maybe an equally good story, maybe even a better story, but you can’t tell the same story if you have a different teller. Everything changes, when the teller changes.

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