Friday, July 26, 2013

Day 201 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Bayls


Let's finish up with this poet from ASKEW POETRY JOURNAL, Issue #14, Tim Tipton. As I've said,Tim is a unique younger voice in the Askew pantheon and is already making a name in the Southern California scene. His recent chapbook, "LATE NIGHT BREATHING" was the winner of the 2013 San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival Chapbook Contest. He read his poem "DIRTY WEEKEND" for the Askew event.


Photo, D.F. Baylis


                                     I had a dirty weekend with a total stranger.
                                     We stopped at a little bungalow by the sea
                                     that hummed to itself.
                                     We climbed up a jacaranda tree
                                     and sat in the branches until our hair was
                                     covered with purple buds.
                                     We climbed down and slithered through the mud,
                                     pretending to be seeds.
                                     We sprayed each other with a garden hose
                                     and the water caught sunlight so that we rinsed in
                                     showers of liquid rainbows.
                                     We ate banana and peanut butter sandwiches,
                                     played music and pretended to surf on the bed
                                     under sharp salty sweat air.



In the last installment of the craft of writing, I was talking about the three major POINTS OF VIEW. Typically these are labeled simply as first, second, and third person. These are not, however, the only points of view that have been or can be used.
There's the JOURNAL style point of view. This, as it sounds, is a style in which the writer imitates the syntax that would make it seem he/she was making entries into a journal or notebook. It can tend to be a bit dry. Two good examples are:
Bram Stoker's, "DRACULA"
Helen Fielding's "BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY".
Comparable to the JOURNAL POV (point of view) is the MONOLOGUE. Basically this is a one man show. You're doing something like giving a speech on paper. This approach can be fairly sophisticated in tone, but by eliminating other characters and setting, you can be giving up important support and depth. A good example of this is:
Edgar Allen Poe's, "THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM".
Somewhat related to MONOLOGUE is STREAM-OF-CONSCIOUSNESS. This was highly popular in the first half of the Twentieth Century but can feel a bit dated now. It is actually rather difficult to pull off. It is hard to make that sounds like psycho-babble into something directed enough to maintain your audience's interest. It has the appearance of unfiltered or unedited thought as it flashes through your main character's mind. A truly great example of this is:
A fourth form of POV to consider is the EPISTOLARY. Derived from the word epistle, or letter, that is what the form is intended to resemble. It is a style that reads like a letter from one character, or as communication back and forth between two or more. Why not bring this forward from its beginnings, when pen and ink was the main form of distance communication, to today's world of emails, tweets and IM's? A good example of this style is:
Nick Bantock's, "GRIFFIN AND SABINE".
As you can see, there are a large number of avenues to be explored when considering point of view. My advice is to experiment. After all, shifting your POV from that which you are most comfortable with may just give you entirely new insight into the relationship between characters or the souls of individuals., love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis

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