Do You Want To Read A Book That Gives The POV Of The Villain?
Someone's book got rejected by Samhain and she wasn't pleased about it. And I mean, REALLY not pleased about it. *g*
Apparently an editor at Samhain rejected Edita A Petrick's suspense story because it began with the villain's point of view.
"I've submitted to them one of my suspense thrillers with romantic/paranormal elements and it does open up in killer's pov since it's essential to the story and for the reader to understand where the paranormal thread/element comes from.
The premise is quite simple. The killer assassinates his 'mark' but because of paranormal elements (an ancient heirloom locket the victim wears) the victim survives what for all intents and purposes is a sure-kill.
Samhain, however, feels that it is very bad to start in killer's pov or to show glimpses of what drives the killer throughout the story. This was number one 'flaw' of the story's presentation according to the editor.
Number two was that there were more than one point-of-view presentation. Basically, the editor said it's not possible for the reader to follow 'threads' of the story as these are far apart by definition of what the story is but they come together as the events impact on them and force them to come together (as they must) for the story to have a resolution."
As a reader, I really don't have a problem with starting a book from the villain's point of view. It's all in the execution, as far as I'm concerned. Does the author give away key clues as to the identity of the villain? Does she give away who the next victim will be? Does she actually give away the whys and wherefores of the villains actions? If not, what's the problem? And even if she did, there are ways to keep the reader still glued to the book. Yes, to me, execution is definitely key.
Now it could be that the book actually sucked donkeys, and the POVs were just one aspect of the story that didn't work for the editor, but as far as rejecting the book just because she doesn't think multiple POVs work, well.... you gotta question the editor, seeing as many best selling authors use multiple POVs, including that of the villain.
So, waddaya think? Do you prefer POVs to be restricted to the good guys, or do you want to know what the bad guys are thinking too?
If you do want to know what the bad guys are thinking, do you think it's appropriate to start a book with the villain's point of view?
Also, what do you think of multiple POVs and authors who head-hop, in general? For? Against? Couldn't give a flying fuck?
Via The Great Scott's blog.
By the way, did Charlotte Boyett Compo of the 'Wind' books, and Samhain have a falling out of sorts?
"Antiquated thinking? You betcha. I completely agree that it is insulting to the reader. Samhain needs to take another look at what's going on in the real world of publishing."
I almost got whiplash when I read that comment from CBC. Just call me Curious George...