I didn't mean to write about writing, but can't step away from this one. And this isn't an instructional post, either. I am looking for the big Os...opinions about the omniscient point of view.
When I began writing--without a single creative writing class under my belt, I was a bumbling fool when it came to POV. Okay, I might still be a bit of a bumbling fool. :-) But, at least now I understand it (sort of).
Good POV post here.
I have discovered that I prefer to write omniscient third. Everything I have read points to it being a good choice for what I write: Fantasy--as if there were an all-knowing narrator telling the story. And in stories with several plot-lines that converge at some point in the book.
But, I keep reading that it has fallen out of fashion, no one uses it anymore, and third-person limited is much preferred by the writing community.
The POV is not the confusion; the reasons why we shouldn't use it, are. It confuses readers. Too risky. The story loses intimacy. It can turn into head-hopping. And it seems that editors don't like it, and the big publishers don't like it.
The reasons not to use it, don't add up.
I have asked people--people who read a lot, but are not in any way involved in the writing community. "What do you think of third person limited versus omniscient third person?"
Nine times out of ten, the first thing I have to do is to explain what they are. After which, I am usually told that the reader doesn't even notice.
Last week, at the zenith of my POV frustration, I walked into the lunchroom at work. There were eight people there. They are all heavy readers. Several consume books like they are going out of style. This is the ultimate test, I think. These are readers, the end users of our creation. I posed the question to them. The opinions were unvaried and unflinching--they preferred third person omniscient. All of them.
This begs the question, "Who are we writing for?"
Especially in this day of indie authors and indie publishers-- when we have lost the need to court the big six by wooing them with acquiescence to their demands...why wouldn't we write for the reader?
I admit, it still gives me pause...that my work may be seen by others in the writing community, as amateurish, unprofessional, or simply not as good--if I do write in omniscient third.
Have you had any similar experience while talking with readers? Do you write for the publisher, the agent, the editor, or the reader?