Thursday, June 2, 2011

His head or hers?

So the backstory is...I'm working on a novel.

Part of the challenge for me with every story is deciding whose head we're going to be in--his head or hers. In other words, POV or "point of view." For many novels, it's not such a big issue. I spend time in both characters' heads depending on which character has the most to contribute to the particular POV of any given scene.

But sometimes I can't decide which character's head I want to be in for a scene, and that really sucks! If I choose the wrong character, I might get to the end and realize it doesn't work. Then I have to rewrite that scene switching the POV. I've had to do this on several occasions and strangely they always end up being really strong scenes, I guess because I've essentially written them twice. But it's frustrating!

The kink and erotic element brings up another consideration. Do we want to feel his sadistic rush? The internal conflicts to his outward control? Or do we want to feel her masochistic surrender? Her terror or jubilant happiness at her lack of control?

Whenever I finish a book, I always feel like half the story is missing, because in any particular sex or kink scene, we are getting one POV rather than both. That doesn't mean I want to start writing stories in the omniscient voice, or that I want to start head-hopping from character to character throughout each scene. But it is always a conundrum to decide which character gets to take us through which scenes.

With my book Club Mephisto, I solved the problem by staying in one head only--the slavegirl, Molly. This was an intentional decision because I wanted us to feel as though we were taking Molly's journey with her. I never wanted my readers to have a chance to escape from her mind. I was happy with the end result...I do not regret that decision one iota. However, I do feel there's a whole book hiding under the surface of that book--the book that tells what Mephisto, her (temporary) Master thought and felt. We never learn anything about that at all--we only know what we observe and surmise through Molly's eyes.

Ah, well. Maybe someday I'll write that book. I keep saying I will but I haven't started it yet, except to write the title down on a document and save it.

As a reader, do you have a preferred "side" as far as POV? Do you prefer to read kink scenes from the POV of the top or the bottom? What about erotic scenes? Do you prefer to see and feel the action from a man's POV or a woman's?


  1. During scenes I would usually prefer to participate through the the submissive's eyes, which is the girl in your books. But occasionally getting things from the Tops POV is usually pretty enlightening.

    I read the Kate Daniels series, it's Urban Fantasy and not erotica at all. The stories are told entirely from Kate's point of view, but I love that the husband and wife author team give us a few of the major scenes from Curren's point of view. They give most of them on their blog, but occasionally they bundle them all up in a volume and release it on Amazon as an ebook. The scene where Kate and Curran first meet, where she decides "Here kitty kitty" might be a good way to address the Beast Lord, a wereLion... was very enlightening from his point of view.

    Stephanie Meyer did the same thing, writing part of Twilight from Edwards POV and releasing it on her website.

    But back to your question, I think you do a good job of moving back and forth. Trust your judgment, and if you end up writing it both ways, maybe you could release the other version on your blog a few weeks after the book is released.

    And yes, I want you to do more with Mephisto. Pretty please with sugar on it and a cherry on top.

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  2. I don't care whose point of view you write in as long as you publish another damn book Annabel.

    As for the question, I like both sides in third person books where a level of romance is involved. Although, I have enjoyed BDSM erotica from the sub's perspective alone. Sometimes, if the dom is particularly cold or harsh, I enjoy being in his head for a while and discovering who he is beneath that. It's one of the things that make me fall for them.

  3. I generally prefer the sub's POV... But sometimes seeing thing through the dom's eyes is really hot. It's like sneaking in somewhere you're not supposed to be. ;)

  4. Is there something going on? You guys have never gone so long without a blog post before.