Saturday, February 24, 2007

One POV, Two POV, Pink POV, Blue Pov.

Romance readers tend to be informed, voracious reader who know what they want and are willing to buy it--in bulk. So what do you need to do to satisfy the romance reader? Well of course this is no generic romance reader but there are certainly some things that will please many, and some that will only please a few--and I think the wise author should know the difference.

One comment I know I have received on several occasions is that many readers very much want to see both sides of a romance--they want scenes from the point of view (POV) of all of the main characters. Romance is about aligning two (or more) people's dreams and expectations and it seems most satisfying to have a window into both (or all) main character's lives.

Personally I tend to like to stick with one person's point of view and if the object of their affections acts in a way that baffles them then I stick with that confusion and frustration--but what is satisfying for me as a writer is not necessarily going to work for the reader. And genre fiction is essentially a "pull" economy that, although it is inspired by the creativity of writers, exists to cater to the needs of readers. I also have two books I really want to write that are heterosexual romances entirely from the male point of view. But who, I wonder, is going to want to read them? Will I be satisfying my own needs more than that of my potential reader?

So, what point of view do you like to write... and/or to read? First or third, one POV or two... and whose?

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Joyce Ellen Armond said...

Sometimes I become frustrated with the romance reader's list of expectations, and this is one of them. I think storytelling strategies, like point of view, should be applied in a way that brings out the strength of each unique book.

Because of (dare I say rigid?) expectations of readers, I think alot of really great novels are going unpublished or are slipping away into other genres.

I hear so many readers complain about oh-it's-the-same and here's-this-kind-of-hero/heroine/plot-again, but we're damning ourselves by not trusting our authors and cramping their visions with lists of demands.

If it says romance on the spine, it will primarily be about a love relationship and it will end happily. Aren't those two basic rules enough?

veinglory said...

I guess I go back and forth on this. I like to write one POV, but I also like to write first person--and you you, I don;t like to *read* first person. So I am not always sure that good writing is good reading (somewhat contradicting what I said about diversifying the genre a few posts ago).