Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?

THE VASE

A novel by Mark M. DeRobertis

Muhsin Muhabi is a Palestinian potter, descended from a long line of potters. His business is run from the same shop owned by his ancestors since the day his forebears moved to Nazareth. The region's conflict saw the death of his oldest son, and rogue terrorists are in the process of recruiting his youngest in their plot to assassinate the Pope and Israeli prime minister.

Professor Hiram Weiss is an art historian at Nazareth’s Bethel University. He is also a Shin Bet operative on special assignment. With the help of fellow agent, Captain Benny Mathias, he plans to destroy the gang responsible for the death of his wife and only child. He puts a bomb in the ancient vase he takes on loan from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.

Mary Levin, the charming assistant to the director of Shin Bet, has lost a husband and most of her extended family to recurring wars and never-ending terrorism. She dedicates her life to the preservation of Israel, but to whom will she dedicate her heart - the brilliant professor from Bethel University - or the gallant captain who now leads Kidon?

Harvey Holmes, the Sherlock of Haunted Houses, is a Hollywood TV host whose reality show just flopped. When a Lebanese restaurant owner requests his ghost-hunting services, he believes the opportunity will resurrect his career. All he has to do is exorcise the ghosts that are haunting the restaurant. It happens to be located right across the street from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Third Person Limited POV--5 rules or guidelines

Now that I'm back to revising Killer Eyes, the sequel to Killer of Killers, I find myself mostly just reinforcing the 3rd person POV rules, which are as follows:

1-Each scene should be narrated from only one person's perspective--your POV character. Do not divulge anything that your POV character would not know. That means no "head-hopping," meaning the POV character would not know what another character is thinking, so don't reveal what another character is thinking. It's okay to say seemingly or apparently when referring to another character, however. For example: "The stranger was apparently displeased with the comment." Or: "The stranger seemed unhappy when he arrived."

2-When changing POV characters, use a scene break. Usually that means three, four or even five asterisks on a separate line between scenes.

3-When referring to your POV character, (in 3rd person limited,) use that character's first name, as that character would not be calling him/herself Mr. so and so, or Ms. so and so, nor would a character typically refer to him/herself by his or her last name. Nor would the POV character refer to him/herself as "the American" or "the doctor" etc.

4-Refer to non-POV characters by how your POV character would refer to them. If, for example, the non-POV character is the father of the POV character, then it would be "his father" and not the first or last name of the father, unless it had been established that the POV character does indeed call his father by his first name.

5-Take care to be consistent. If your POV character, for example, is a humble person, then don't write a narrative that would hint otherwise. For example, you wouldn't write, "Henry was not going to let his talented hands get dirty if he could help it." Meaning if Henry is a humble person, then simply leave out the word "talented." 

The interesting thing to me is that this 3rd person limited POV is relatively a new thing. I've read books that have been published prior to, say, the year 2000, and I find all kinds of POV inconsistencies. Most of the books I've read, (or all of them, actually,) have been books published prior to 2000, and I was used to those inconsistencies. But as a writer, now, I have to go with what is accepted in the writing styles of today. And I've learned that this 3rd person limited POV is the expected way to write. So go with the  flow, if you will. To be considered a good writer today, you have to conform. And besides, I've found that it really does improve your writing. And what writer wouldn't want that?

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