Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Dekker POV

Continuing with Dekker this week:

In Ted Dekker's novels the point of view is usually half a step away from the character. Not that he doesn't do POV correctly - no headhopping here. There's just a slight distance - like looking through a character's eyes but not quite living in their brain. You feel their emotions, but you don't feel like they're yours.

I think this is because his books lean more toward the plot-driven camp than the character-driven. It's hard to describe action accurately if you're too caught up in the emotions of the moment. The tiny bit of distance is all Dekker needs. Close enough to feel, far enough to see.

The distance is somewhat of a boon. Your heart isn't ripped out when a character dies - Dekker wants to keep it racing instead. The books don't grip you emotionally as much as mentally. (And that doesn't include the spiritual aspect, which Dekker covers in a breathtaking way.)

Maybe it's a guy/girl thing, but I like being so emotionally involved with the characters that I breathe when they breathe. Maybe guys like a little more distance in their reading. But I'm willing to loosen the emotional bond for the thrill ride of my life.


Anonymous said...

This is an interesting observation, Katie. I've noticed this same trend in thrillers myself. Sometimes the characterization is compromised for plot. I'm like you in that I'd much prefer to have both. However, there's something to be said for just picking up a book and being entertained by twists and turns of plot. Think Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys. I ate them up when I was a kid.


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