A few weeks ago, we were driving down the road. She was reading aloud to me from her work in progress—a fantasy that featured a blind person as the main character. Here’s a snippet of that conversation:
Daughter reading: “As the minivan approached the curb, we all turned to look, and John’s face clouded with disgust.”
“Stop,” I said. “Stop right there. Isn’t the main character blind?”
“Yeah,” she said, as if it should be obvious. She’d already told me so.
“Okay, so how did she know it was a minivan approaching? How did she know everybody turned to look? How did she know what John’s face looked like?”
Long pause…Then, from the passenger seat. “Dammit.”
This exchange triggered a fascinating conversation about points of view and author intrusion. My daughter had infused her character with a point of view that was not specific to her character’s visual impairment, but rather to every sighted character in every book she’d ever read. This disconnect caused reader/listener confusion and a lack of trust.
“How can you rewrite it?” I asked.
A few minutes later she came back with: [Read more…]