At a recent writers group, a member who has traditionally written creative non-fiction brought a fiction piece. At the author’s request, we discussed POV. This piece did a fine job of 3rd person omniscient, but she thought she was using limited from the POV of the second character to come on the scene.
One of the down sides of not having a formal group leader is that everyone and their kitchen sink jumped in to set the record straight.
While most kitchen sinks were right, there was a particular one who, every chance she gets, informs us that she’s an English teacher. She flat out told this new writer that she had no business writing the way she had and needed to stick to limited 3rd and redo her beginning. There was also some tangent about theme.
I wanted to punch her.
The problem, as I saw it, was not what the writer was using; it was lack of knowing the name of what she was using. And if you are doing it correctly, does it really matter if you don’t know the name?
I need to talk to the writer and encourage her to just write. Finish the story. Worry about some of those technical aspects later.
I do think the technical can help our writing, but I don’t believe in force feeding arbitrary rules. 3rd person limited works for me (and obviously the teacher), but that doesn’t mean that every beginning writer must use it.