Guest Fox: Runere McLain!

                  Runére’s Point of View on POV
                                 
By Jeff Salter

             It’s my delight to welcome Runére McLain to the Hound’s Thursday column as my Guest Fox for May.  I won’t repeat any of the info in her bio blurb, but let me tell you how she and I first ‘met.’ 
            I was the guest blogger at Southern Sizzle Romance and my hostess (who shall remain nameless, since she bugged out on me — ha) had promised to hang around most of the day to ‘hold my hand.’  Well, that Saturday came and my absent hostess left me an e-mail saying, basically:  “Oops, I forgot, I’ve got an all day meeting … see ‘ya.”
            So, I festered that it would be a loooonnnggg day with no interaction because nobody else on the blog knew me and none of the regular visitors would give a crap about some guy drifting in.  Imagine my surprise to have Runére McLain come to my rescue!  She touched base with me all day long and kept me in stitches.  That girl is a major HOOT. 
            You can imagine my further surprise to learn Runére lives near some of my old stomping ground along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast.  Anyway, without further ado (whatever that is), HEERRREEE’s Runére!

                    Point of View . . . It’s All How You See It
                                    
By Runére McLain

             Point of view has caused more author/editor/contest judge conflict than a grandchild and I looking down at the same shards of broken lamp on the living room floor. Where I’m formulating a forceful safety lecture, you can bet he’s composing a passionate defense based on how he was not running. Just walking ‘kinda fast’.
            POV is critical as to who is telling what.

 Layering from multiple perspectives
            Some believe POV is simply the story told in first-person or third-person. Or that a single character is all you should ever use to tell a story. But the layering found in a story told by multiple characters adds tactile and emotional depth, carries much more insight, and lets the truth poke out at odd – but memorable – angles.
            Example: Grandchild comes in dripping wet from head to toe. If you write his version: he fell in the pond. But if you allow other voices to chime in you learn they were floating on the pond. What do you mean in the horse’s water trough? WHO found red spray paint and wrote SS Titanic on the side? What splinters? What boards for oars? The original voice pipes up, aggrieved so much more detail was provided than he was comfortable with, and you finally learn the truth. He was tossed out to swim to the iceberg! It’s still all about the original character, but which do you think would make a more interesting read? (For those concerned about the horse; I made them put the trough back and refill it.)

 Think of writing as conversation
            A more adult way of explaining the same thing is to think of your writing as you would conversation. A good one has exchange, balance and flow. While a principal character’s voice is essential, switching between characters is okay. Just give them a paragraph or two between changes. (Unless they’re conversing, then dialogue tags make distinction between them easy.)
            The way different characters experience the same incident strengthens your story. Use a motor vehicle accident for example. A crash occurs, a car starts to smolder with a woman trapped inside. The woman’s character provides necessary immediacy to involve the reader. She sees and feels the shattered glass, chokes on smoke, suffers the threat of flames so much more intensely – and personally – than bystanders.
            Yet one of those bystanders is in emotional throes of his own. When he bolts forward, focused solely on how to grab hold of the door and move the damn thing, your reader experiences a moment of moral self-definition with him as fear is overcome by concern for his fellow man. Two characters can mesh, providing tactile and emotional depth as well as cohesion in your story. Just don’t jumble them indeterminately in the same paragraph; that’s head-hopping.

 Linear vs. non-linear
            POV is also a linear or non-linear story line.
            Linear is chronological, things in natural order. As in waiting for screams. A 12 year old grandson just went out the door armed with a flyswatter and a can of Hotshot Hornet Spray. You know it can’t end well.
            Non-linear is this grandchild’s father reminiscing with child’s uncle, and you learn years after the fact all those steel pellets you had to dig out of backsides while they were growing up was because they took turns being the ‘deer’ as the others practiced shooting a moving target with their BB guns.

 Your personal narrative voice
            So I guess the truth, beyond the basics, is there’s really no concrete definition for POV. It’s a combination of many things, plus a very special unknown ingredient. That ingredient?  Your unique combination of all the above. It’s what makes you distinct as a writer and results in your personal narrative voice

             Thanks for letting me visit with the foxes and that rascally hound. I enjoyed it!
            Runére-Land (as Jeff calls it) is its own little ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ island.  If you ever get bored you’re welcome to visit. 

 Runére McLain, a paranormal romance author living and loving in south Mississippi, spends her time indulging her love of writing and torments her children by siding with the grandkids on everything. A florist, musician, shrimper, oil field vessel captain, and casino worker (from dealer to pit bull – oops! – pit boss), she incorporates experiences from every field to share with her readers. Runére has published non-fiction and articles, and has a fiction anthology entry coming out later this year. To find out what she’s up to visit her at www.RunereMcLain.com, where ghosts whisper and wolves howl. Follow her on Twitter@RunereMcLain.

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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37 Responses to Guest Fox: Runere McLain!

  1. Tonya Kappes says:

    I love trying to defy the pov rules. I love to write in first b/c I feel like I can put more emotion in it. I also switch pov’s when writing in third pov. I love writing from my hero’s and heroine’s pov.

    Like

    • Thanks for sharing with us today, Tonya! Every writer has a particular strength, and my hat is off to you with first person.

      I’ll admit maybe it’s avoidance on my part bacause I’m always doing that 1st person yell across a field or pond (the only change over the years progression from kids to grandkids), “If you don’t stop that I’m gonna–” (Insert appropriate threat before ‘pulling the gocart with the horse! Put gas in the thing!’ or ‘using your sisters as the obstacle in your bike obstacle course!’ or ‘teaching the preacher’s kids to curse in four languages! I have to face that man on Sunday!’

      Third person is nice for me because it’s someone ELSE suffering through things for a change! lol

      Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Tonya, I’ve only tried 1st pers. once, in my 6th completed ms. But I liked it and it helped keep me inside the fences of that POV.
      I’m one who likes to wander next door and see what the other characters are thinking and feeling … rather than merely what the ‘1st person’ character perceives it to be.
      I plan to write more in 1st pers. because I think it ‘reads’ more personally to the one holding the book.
      Thanks for visiting, Tonya.

      Like

  2. danicaavet says:

    I’m laughing too much to form a coherent response…OMG pretending to be the deer. Bwahahaha! Great post, Runere, as always!

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Danica, I can pick some great Guest Foxes, can’t I?
      Yeah, I loved that deer scene too. The thing with Runere is that I believe most of this actually happens to her. I don’t think she needs to make up all that much.
      Of course, she could be like me and ‘massage’ the truth a little … for effect. Who knows.

      Like

      • Massage? Like you did in the intro? *gonna tattle smirk* Seems I remember your comparing the hand-holding to something more along the lines of “poking you with a stick”. LOL I loved the exchanges that day! Wouldn’t trade ’em! Thanks for putting up with me!

        Like

      • jeff7salter says:

        ah, we had great fun that day, Runere. Plus, all the scratches healed within a week (from being poked with that stick). Ha.

        Like

    • Now you know why when other g-parents start to share g-child stories, I go hide in the corner. The few times I did I caught a condescending “She’s a *eyebrow bob, eye roll, exaggerator implied* writer you know.” as I walked away. Hurt my feelings, all five of them! lol

      Like

      • jeff7salter says:

        Me, too, Runere. And I freely admit massaging the facts. All the great story-tellers do at some point. It doesn’t detract from the key point — the primary event actually happened! But tweaking the details gives it a more enjoyable context.
        That said, in some of my stories, I no longer remember the parts that happened exactly the way I described … and the parts I tweaked. But as my favorite movie quote says: “when the facts erode the legend, print the legend.”
        [actually that’s not the direct quote, so I’d better look it up. From the Man Who Shot Liberty Valance]

        Like

      • jeff7salter says:

        Found the correct wording of that quote:
        “No, sir. This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”
        From “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”

        Like

  3. Speaking of g-kids . . . duty calls! I’ll be back in a few hours, so don’t give up on me, okay?

    Like

    • Runere, a great and amusing analogy. Unfortunately, editors seem to hate first person which solves the POV problem and really, really hate too many POVs no matter how well they are done. Say, are you the same Runere with a ghost story in Haunts 2 that L & L Dreamspell put up on Amazon today? Couldn’t be two people with the name Runere. I’d like to know its origins. Lynn Shurr

      Like

  4. Plans called on account of rain, so I’m back!

    Yes, Carla, that’s me in Dreamspell Haunts 2! I’m so excited anyone even noticed my little ol’ short story. You made my day! Thank you! It’s based on the shipwreck of the Spanish ship Elcazador in 1784, just south of New Orleans in the Gulf. The historical facts about New Orleans during the era are correct. Don Sebastian is totally from my head, and my experiences as a ghost hunter contributed the rest. Thanks for asking about it!

    Like

  5. Y’all! I are soooo happy right now! Found out from fellow author Carla Hostetter an anthology I’m in just went live early on AllRomance/OmniLit! Be out for Kindle on Amazon soon! PLEASE forgive me, but I have to include the link —or I just might EXPLODE!! lol

    http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-dreamspellhauntsvolume2-549463-140.html

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      You mean Runere was at the same meeting you were? But she had time to hold my hand while I blogged …yet you didn’t have time?
      Sheesh.
      All this time I thought you had called a buddy who might be sympathetic to a lonely blogging hound … and convinced her to baby-sit me until you got unencumbered.
      Sigh.

      Like

    • Thanks Jillian!

      And you have to remember: Jeff’s an admitted ‘massage’-onist! LOL (And he can’t get mad because he set himself up!)

      Like

  6. Runere, your amazing, if you ever stop writing werewolves, and ghost, you should do comedy. Your as funny as any comic relief. AND EVERONE LOIS just became published today. I’m not sure if I can say this, and if not, I am sorry and delete my post. BUT CONGRATS. Runere is a great writer and her stories… ARE ALL TRUE. Love you sister, and I learn something new everyday from hanging on to her coat tails..

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Thanks for visiting, Paula. Your buddy Runere is multi-dimensional. She even makes SIGNS (see pix). LOL
      Wait … you said ‘sister’. Is that in the family sense? Or the buddy type sister?

      Like

      • Thank you, Paula, for the kind words!

        And Jeff, she is the one and only Gothicdweller! We’ve been to conferences in Atlanta and Florida together, and though she knows I’m pubbed in non-fiction and as a staff writer, she’s suffered through my stubborn “If it isn’t romance, it doesn’t count!” This one, and another that came out around Thanksgiving, ARE romance. She’s been teasing me all day! lol

        Like

      • Hey! Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia! lol

        Like

  7. That last comment was directed at Jeff! He was muttering something about my multiple dimensions.

    Like

  8. Hey Jeff, it’s really posted in her yard.. winks.. Imagine the country folks expressions as they pass by wondering what on earth?

    Like

  9. Some of the old timers around Duson told me (and they may have been pulling my leg because I sat there with big eyes and open mouth listening to them for hours! lol) that the Loup Garou is a werewolf, and a rougarou is not only Cajun slang for Loup Garou, it’s also a person that can take their skin off, put in under a rock and assume the form of any animal in the swamp. They were pulling my leg, weren’t they, Danica? *pouts*

    Like

  10. It’s getting later in the evening and about time for me to herd everyone toward bed, so I’ll leave you with a big thank you! Appreciate your allowing me to hang out with the foxes and the hound today. I want to thank everyone who commented and made me feel so welcome as well! Take care of yourselves and each other; after all, we’re all we’ve got! lol Blessings!
    ~Runere~

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      I really enjoyed your visit today, Runere. Please check back tomorrow for more comments, because some of our blog visitors arrive a day late.

      Like

  11. Jeff, you get a separate thank you for asking me to blog with y’all! I loved coming to this blog site long before you asked me to guest here, and I’ll be coming to visit long after!

    G’night, rascally hound! Don’t let the foxes have you chasing your tail!

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      You’re welcome, Runere, and thank YOU for the guest appearance. From the time I first joined this group of foxes, I knew I wanted you to be one of my guests.

      Like

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