Edits in pov

These examples are from an erotica short story I wrote many years ago, which taught me a lot about point of view. The story started out in third-person past. Eventually, I changed it to second-person present. Have a look at the difference!

Original:
“No more shooting in the corridors, but Riesel’s nerves still sang from her part in the ship’s defense. She peeled her pale blue suit of mecha down her arms, her scarred torso, and finally her legs. Heat pricked her depilated skin as nanoprobes withdrew and she bit back a moan as her muscles, released from their unnatural tensile state, slackened. The mecha pooled on the silver deck like a satisfied cat.

The door from the corridor slid open and a trooper, still wearing her mecha, poked her head in. “Sarge, they need you in Blue Area.”

Mentally, Riesel groaned. “Confirmed. Go strip off, Park. That suit’ll tear you up if you’re not careful.”

The rewrite:

“You’re stripping out of your mecha because the battle’s over. Your nerves still sing from your part in the ship’s defense. You peel the shimmering layer of mecha down your arms, your wound-scarred torso, your legs. Nanoprobes withdraw, pricking your depilated skin with delightful heat, and the mecha pools on the silver deck like a satisfied cat.

Released from their unnatural tensile state, your muscles slacken. You’re a normal soldier again.

A trooper, still wearing her mecha, pokes her head in the door. “Sarge, they need you in Blue Area.”

You groan. “Confirmed. Go strip off, Park. That suit’ll tear you up if you’re not careful.”

I think the change to second-person present tightened the narrative as well as giving the reader more distance from the protagonist, who was meant to be a cold and hard soldier. I don’t think this would work for an entire novel, or rather I’m not sure I want to try it for an entire novel, but it gave me a much better understanding of how point of view is vital.

Published by Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen’s writing showcases her voracious lifelong love of books. She reads over 120 new books each year, especially historical romance, fantasy, and space opera, and incorporates these genres into her erotic fiction. Her first erotic novel, The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover (Harlequin Spice, December 2008), was translated into French and German. Her second Spice novel, The Moonlight Mistress (December 2009), was translated into Italian and nominated for a RT Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her third novel is The Duke & The Pirate Queen (December 2010). She has also published erotic short stories as Elspeth Potter. When not writing, Victoria conducts research in libraries and graveyards, lectures about writing and selling erotica, and speaks at literary conventions on topics such as paranormal romance, urban fantasy, erotic science fiction/fantasy, and the empowerment of women through unconventional means. Her daily writing blog features professional writing and marketing tips, genre discussion, book reviews, and author interviews. She also guest blogs for Heroes & Heartbreakers and The Criminal Element. She lives in Philadelphia.