Saturday, March 31, 2012

Reflections: POV - Epistolary Novel

Hi, folks. I'm just back from the SCBWI Houston Annual Conference and I will say that I had a fun time and learned beaucoups of stuff. Good times for sure. I'm enjoying connecting with Texas SCBWI. Big shout out for illustrator among other things Dan Yaccarino. He stirred up all kinds of want in me to follow my passion and do my best work.

I've been busy, busy this weekend and am going to finish up my reflections with a couple of quick thoughts about POV and the epistolary novel, better known as a novel in letters. The epistolary novel is generally written in first person POV and introduces a way to to create multiple first person POVs with letters from alternating characters, this is know as polylogic. A book of letters from one point of view is monologic.

I've written a novel in letters and have critiqued several novels in letters and I have learned a thing or two about this format. First person POV in letter form inherently draws the writer to tell what is happening to the main character. The writer must work hard to salt his letters with dialogue and description. Scenes must be framed with narration, and then these encased scenes must read like shelf-ready novels but it also must read like a letter. This little trick takes some practice.

I hope that you have been moved to explore this form in some way. Give it a shout.

My doodle for the week. I call this one "blowing bubbles."

If you decide to write a book in letters, remember your work is cut out for you.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. Scott Adams


KelsNotChels said...

Hi there!

I've been reading your blog for a few weeks, but my ears perked up when I read that you were a part of the Texas SCBWI! I live in Dallas and have been reluctant to join... It's hard to tell if the North Central Chapter gets together all that often!

I'm so glad to bump into another Texas writer online!


MollyMom103 said...

Howdy, there KelsNotChels. Thanks for dropping by. I love all 5 regions of Texas SCBWI, a friendly bunch all around! I don't know much about North Central Chapter; they have a yearly conference that might be a good way to check out your local region.

I'm in the Brazos Valley Region. :) Thanks for dropping by! I hope that you have found something useful here. :)

Faith Pray said...

I have a pash on epistolary novels. My first novel was epistolary. Probably not the best way to cut my teeth on the craft of writing, and yet, I think it was, and is a beautiful way to learn Voice. I had the most trouble carrying tension, suspense and action throughout. Having said that, I love epistolary. It's like a game- trying to tell a story strictly by letters. I sure love these writing series you keep posting, Molly!