Episode 73: Feathers of the Phoenix: Historical Fantasy Critique

Episode Description

In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the opening pages of J.T. Morse's Feathers of the Phoenix, an as yet unpublished historical fantasy novel. They discuss point of view, the omniscient narrator, word choice, and accents.  


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Show Notes

A novel has no camera because a novel is just a big brick of words, but for the sake of delicious metaphor, let’s assume that “camera” is representative of the reader’s perspective. We often think of point-of-view as being the character’s perspective (and it is), but it’s also about the reader’s perspective. A third-person narrative has the camera outside the action—maybe hovering over one character, maybe pulling back all the way to the corner. A first-person narrative gives one character the camera—or even goes so far as to cram the camera up their nether-cavern and into their brain and against their eyeball. The question then becomes: is the reader here to witness what’s going on? Or experience it? Third-person asks we witness, first-person allows us to experience (and second-person really utilizes the experiential mode but, again, probably don’t do that).
— Chuck Wendig

Editorial Mission: Check Your Point of View

Take a pivotal scene from your story and write it from a different point of view, either use another character or a different form altogether (if you wrote it in first person, try third or vice versa, or even try omniscient). Experiment until you know the best way to tell your story in terms of the information you reveal and intimacy that occurs. Should the reader be observing or experiencing your story? What’s tricky about this is that it’s a big change if you decide to do it, so check this out early and think about early in your revisions.

Leave us a comment at the bottom of the show notes or drop us a line at writershippodcast@gmail.com to let us know how it goes.


Other items and resources:

Follow today’s author, J.T. Morse, here

Want to know more about point of view? Here’s a list of posts at Janice Hardy’s Fiction University.

Find Clark’s latest book, Hank Hudson and the Anubis on Amazon.


Inline Critique