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Writing Books/Point of View


As a writer yourself, how do you feel about books with mixed POVs?  For example, Robert Crais--an author I read frequently--wrote a mystery/thriller book called The Forgotten Man where the POV teeters between the first-person POV of the protagonist and third-person chapters involving at least two or three other characters involved in the story?  Is that generally frowned upon?  I've considered rewriting my manuscript for a mystery novel to fit more into that style.  Should I just stick with the third person for all characters involved?  Which do you feel is more effective?  Thanks!

Hi, Al!

I'm tremendously impressed with those writers who can pull off mixed POVs. Another mystery author who does this well is J.A. Konrath. His "Jack Daniels" mysteries follow the heroine police detective in first person and the killer in third. Very well done and gripping. Personally, I've never mastered the technique, although I can write both first and third person books equally well (in my own humble opinion, of course... LOL!)

I'd say give it a shot, at least with a couple of chapters. Then, give it to someone who's read your other stuff and see if it works for them. All I can say is that there are enough people who write that way that it's not a barrier to getting it published and it can be VERY effective as a hook.

Good luck, and I hope to see it on the shelves some day! :)

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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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