Friday, August 8, 2008

I'm trying to be back

Have you given up on me yet? I don't blame you. I've almost given up on myself. Heaven help me, this summer has been a difficult one. I'm still in the nausea zone, but definitely functioning at a higher level. I'm almost 16 weeks along in my pregnancy, which is generally the cutoff point, so I'm crossing my fingers that by this time next week I'll be in the clear.

So I haven't been doing much. Not even writing because I'm just not feeling it. But I have been reading... a lot. I had the opportunity of reading a book by a relative of my husbands. It's her first published novel and it was cool to see her last name on the spine (since it is also my last name). She has been a High School English teacher for many years.

While I generally enjoyed the book, she committed what, to me, has always been a fiction writing faux pas. I was surprised when she skipped from one point of view to another willy nilly. I was always taught that if you are going to change point of view there needs to be, at the very least, a break in the text and works most effectively at chapter breaks. I'll give you an example. This is just me making something up, but it represents the kind of things I read in her book.

"Susan watched Bob from afar as he blew the hair from his eyes with a crooked smile. She knew he couldn't possibly be interested in her, but hadn't he been making eye contact with her all evening? His gaze met hers once more and she immediately looked away, feeling her cheeks flush. Her hands flew to her mouth, then retracted as she consciously kept herself from chewing her nails. He was definitely looking at her. She knew his reputation, but couldn't help the fact that his blue eyes made her heart race. Why would he possibly be paying any attention to her? Bob knew that he was making this girl flustered and he enjoyed it. He'd been eyeing her secretly for weeks. His friends would never let him live it down if they knew how much he dug her. What they couldn't know was that he had more in mind than just romance."

That was just some nonsense I just spewed, but it illustrates what I'm talking about.

So, what do you think? Are there hard set rules that really should never be broken in fiction, or does artistic license trump all?