I have come to the definite conclusion that I need to include more detail in my work. This was brought about by feedback in Cat Rambo’s workshop, and by watching this revealing clip—it’s a spoof, but none the less illustrative:
One of the things I notice about the video is how the lack of detail in what the doctors and nurses are saying throws me out of the “story”, by adding a distance that shouldn’t exist. The doctors and nurses should know what they’re talking about; that the writers don’t communicate this and makes us not trust the setting. Losing an audience’s trust is a sure-fire way to lose their interest in the story, even make things comical by the lack of specificity resulting in humorous interpretations that distract from the tale. Confusion abounds, and unintentional, non-story-strengthening confusion at that.
I have also come to the decision that I will damn well make omniscient POV work. It’ll take observation and practice, but I’ll get there. Even if I am distant from my characters, I will make you care, I will break your heart, I will do all the things that people claim you can’t do with omniscient (despite evidence to the contrary). I will take every advantage of what omniscient grants me.
If I have to give a reason, it would be that I love the power it gives me. The conciseness that I lose with giving more detail is returned by skipping all the games that multiple third-person limited plays.
I’ve already been sneaking it into my writing exercises as best as I can. This coming week, my answer to the infodump conversion exercise is flat out third-person omniscient. I’ll see if it works—or if it doesn’t. If the referee is counting down while I stare up at the lights, I’ll refine my approach. I suspect I’ll have to do so.
But no one will be able to say that I didn’t try.