Monday, April 14, 2008

POV or not to POV

I'm glad I decided on my subject on Friday and typed it up because today, I ache all over and find typing and thinking both hard to do. Just suffice it to say, my dh worked me near death over the weekend( and not in a fun, romantic way).

Here's my delimma:

As I work on my newest project, which is the series with an ongoing relationship between the Hero and Heroine, I’m having a dilemma over the secondary characters who will have the HEA in the book. I’ve not read one like this before and wondered- do they each need to have a POV in the story? Or can I satisfy the reader keeping it all in the H/H’s POVs showing the secondary characters and how they relate to one another? If the main characters have love scenes(to satisfy those readers wanting such scenes) do I have to show the secondary couple that intimate or will the way the Main characters perceive and tell the story be enough to have the reader sighing and happy with the HEA and yet on the edge of their seat waiting for the next book to come out and see how the H/H come together again.

Has anyone read a book with what I’m planning? If so please let me know so I can read it. I may be biting off more than I can chew, but I’m going for something unique and different with the goal of capturing an agent or editors attention. But I have to be able to pull it off as well.


Alice Sharpe said...

Paty, Have you ever read Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody books? Go get a copy of Crocodile on the Sandbank. The love story in that book is two fold, the heroine's very slow but passionate realization of the hero and the secondary character's roller coaster romance with her guy (I won't mention who and ruin the fun...)

I know you used to read Mrs. Pollifax and although that character did not have (until later) an ongoing relationship, there was almost always another love story taking place. The one where she goes to the spa in Switzerland, for instance. The blossoming love between Robin and Brooke.

I don't think you want to get into the POV of secondary characters. I'm not sure, but I think it might diffuse the focus on the kind of books you are talking about. And I can't picture an overtly sexy scene without being in the viewpoint of one of the participating characters. I think it would have to be more along the lines of the heroine's witnessing the growing tenderness and passion between them and perhaps facilitating it in some way. But to describe a sex scene and not be the one involved feels creepy to me.

It is a big undertaking, but you're giving it a lot of thought and preplanning. The sighs for a HEA will come with the getting together of the secondary characters as perceived by the primary characters. The sitting on the edge of the seat will come with the fireworks between the hero and heroine and the cleverness of your plot.

Hope the aches and pains work themselves out soon...

Paty Jager said...

I don't remember reading Elizabeth Peters, but I'll go see if the library has the book. And I did read many of the Mrs. Pollifax books and I seem to remember they did have secondary relationaships. I'll check out a couple of those as well. Thanks, Alice!

And come to think of it doesn't Agatha Christie's Miss Marple stories usually have a secondary couple?

I wanted to stay in the two POVs and use what they see and talk about with the secondary characters to convey that relationship and maybe make them wonder about their own. No, I didn't plan to have a love scene between secondary characters described by the main characters.LOL

It's slowly coming together. I hope to get farther than the first page today. :0)

Elisabeth Naughton said...

I'm afraid I'm no help on this one Paty. I wrote two books (my first two) with secondary romances and by the time the books were done, the secondary romances were more exciting than the main romance. Hence why I have never written a secondary romance in a book since. ;)

Susan Elizabeth Phillips always has secondary romances in her books - complete with secondary POVs and love scenes. Most of the time I love them - as the characters add to the main story - but there have been a few books where I skimmed through that secondary romance to get back to the main characters.

Alice Sharpe said...

Paty, I thing Eli brings up a good point. I always reference back to mysteries but she is talking about romance books. And I think she's right, that the secondary relationship in a romance novel is never going to be as compelling as the primary relationship. I wasn't thinking romance when I responded earlier ... but you are.

You are going to need to make the sparks fly between your primary characters. I don't know if you can rely on the secondary relationship to bear the weight if you want to stay in this genre.

Second thoughts ... what do you think...

Paty Jager said...

Alice and Eli, that's my problem. I feel like I need the second romance to keep in the romance genre, yet the main characters are really going to be the spark and sizzle in the book. Hey Alice, this is my Catch 22!

Genene Valleau said...

Chiming in late...

Paty, your series sounds very interesting! Alice and Eli each make some very good points (as usual!).

Another question about the genre. Sounds like you definitely want romance in your books, but are you talking category or single title or more mainstream women's fiction "with romantic elements"? If you go the route of "with romantic elements", reader expectations may be a little broader. I'm no expert in that, as the "boundaries" seem to overlap and shift as authors push those boundaries.

That still leaves you with achieving the balance between making the secondary romance strong but not enough to overshadow the primary romance. However, as someone mentioned, if the secondary romance helps the primary characters learn lessons or move forward in their own romance, that will keep the focus on the primary romance.

Paty Jager said...

While I was in Salem yesterday, I picked up the latest Suzanne Enoch book that has an ongoing relationship between a thief and a millionaire. I've read the others of hers in this series and there is no secondary HEA and these characters don't have closure at the end of the book and it was shelved under romance. So I may not have to have a secondary love interest as long as the sparks are hot and the scenario is believable.