Recently the question of omniscient POV has come up in several classes, so I started reading some examples of it. One of the best I hit was Sherwood Smith’s Inda series. I figured, why not go to Sherwood and ask some questions about how she pulled that off.
What drew you to using omniscient point of view for the Inda series? What sorts of stories work particularly well with that POV? Were there any models that you looked when working with it?
I had always written in omni. I’m a visual writer (with all its pluses and pitfalls), which means I see a movie in my head—not just dialogue but characters’ inner lives. Omni always seemed the easiest way to get that movie down…But when I started selling, I was told to switch to limited third, which I had to learn.
This is the most interesting part to me:
I came to the conclusion that every novel, actually, has a narrator. Including those written in limited third or even camera-eye view. But many writers don’t recognize that. Maybe they don’t need to. Everybody’s process is different. For me, it’s a helpful rule or reminder for handling diegesis as well as mimesis, and how to incorporate elements like public, private, and intimate space (each with its discrete focus), how to slide into free indirect discourse, etc.
Sometime, I would like to see Sherwood expand a little on that. Or a lot, actually.