Brenda Drake's Book Club Contest Entry

This is my entry, I'd appreciate any and all feedback! Thank you!
Title: Legacy
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Pitch: In a family of witches, Danielle is ordinary. But when a sorcerer tries to kill her brother, she's the only one who can save him.
Danielle screwed her eyes shut as her breakfast threatened to make an unwelcome reappearance. The ground loomed fifteen feet below. Funny, she’d never had vertigo before. Then again, she’d never contemplated jumping out a two-story building before.

Her hand sought the comfort of her mother’s bracelet. She twisted it around her wrist. At her touch, the runes etched on the metal lit up, green and familiar. Sparks of warmth shot through her arm. The magic stored inside – her mother’s magic – felt different though. On edge. Like a knife balanced on its point, about to tip over.

Much like the way she was teetering on the edge of her room’s balcony.

Today, she’d be eighteen. Her body would have reached magical maturity.
No one over the age of eighteen had ever received their powers. She doubted she’d be the exception.

She’d be ordinary.

Her mother’s bracelet would be the only spark of magic left to her. And what use was a shield against sorcerers who could make the elements do their bidding?

Who would avenge her mother’s memory then?

No, this was the only way. Her last chance to awaken her magic before the dreaded deadline.

Danielle blew out her breath and held the image of a shield in her mind. The metal slowly warmed against her skin – reluctant, a warning. The shield obediently appeared around her, encasing her in a bubble of green-tinted energy. The color cleared, but she could still feel the warmth radiating from it.

Still, she hesitated.


Writing Basics: How to Write Limited Third Person

 But what is POV?
Stories can be told from the eyes of different characters, different viewpoints. The choice of what point of view to use is up to the author, and that choice will influence how the reader will relate to the events in the story.

Today, I’d like to talk about writing in limited third person point of view. Unlike omniscient third person, where a god-like narrator knows everything and can zoom in and out of any character’s thoughts, limited third person means you can only zoom in on one character at a time, and that character will be your viewpoint for the rest of the scene/chapter/novel (More on that later) For now, let’s see what exactly limited third POV means.

Limited third POV enables readers to identify with the character. We are effectively standing in the character’s shoes. We see what they see, know their thoughts, opinions, and feelings. But only theirs. What the other characters in the scene think and feel has to be shown to the reader, either through the use of dialogue, actions or even body language. Don’t tell us a character is angry, show that they’re angry, by having them scream or frown or throw something at the wall. (That’s a very shoddy example.)

But be careful not to break point of view. The viewpoint character can’t know that his girlfriend is sad if she doesn’t show it in some way. Tiny shifts in POV are some of the easiest mistakes a writer can make.

Single POV or Multiple?

As I mentioned earlier, a novel can have a single viewpoint character, or it can be told from multiple point of views. And by multiple POVs, I mean that different chapters will feature different characters. Some even say different scenes, but I like to break POV with chapters. The most important thing is to make sure you have a clear transition.

But what POV to use, you say? Well, I think writing from the viewpoint of the character who knows the least, or the one who has the most to lose is the best way to get the most conflict out of your scene. Beware though, not to get lost in too many characters and subplots that end up overshadowing your main character.  

What POV do you like to use?

Do you find first person easier to write, or are you a limited third person die-hard? What about other viewpoints? I’d love to hear your thoughts!