Happy Sunday, bloggers! Hope you”re all well.
Last week was a bad week for writing for me, as highlighted in last weeks blog post. This week hasn’t seen me hit a huge word count by any means, but it has been better and I’m hoping that this means next week will be better still.
I’ve been thinking a lot over this last week about multiple perspectives in novels and stories. I am writing from two perspectives, (well, kind of three…I’ll explain this another time!) and I’ve only ever written stories from one before. I’ve had to consider so much and have learnt a lot doing this so I’d like to share some quick tips for writing from multiple perspectives.
1. Each Character Needs Their Own Voice
Sounds obvious, and perhaps it is, but when you’re writing a novel it’s easy to fall into the voice of one particular character. It’s so important that each character narrates in their own way, that they can be easily distinguished by the reader simply by how they think, talk and behave. Some people find reading multiple perspective stories difficult, and the best way to avoid that is to make it easy to understand who is telling the story at what point.
2. Make Sure the Story Progresses
What I mean by this is when you switch perspective it shouldn’t just be the same scene told from a different point of view. The plot has to move forward, otherwise you’re essentially just taking twice as long to tell the story. Now, I’m sure there’s exceptions to this and, for example, finishing one character’s chapter at the same point as the next character’s starts is okay. If there’s a one or two sentence overlap then I think this can work. If it’s during a big reveal or a major plot point then having both characters reactions could be really important and really effective.
3. Make Sure you Know WHY You’re Doing It
Does your story NEED two or more perspectives? Or could it be told just as effectively by one character? You need to be sure you’re not complicating things for yourself or for the reader for no real reason. I didn’t intend, originally, for my story to be told by two. However, I realised quite early on that I needed elements of my plot revealed to the reader that simply wouldn’t be noticed or discovered by my main girl. So, two perspectives became the only way forward.
4. Do The Characters Meet?
I ask this because some stories with multiple perspectives are told with time differences. The characters never meet, yet their stories intertwine anyway. These are great! But if your characters are in the same timeline and DO meet it can be a really great way to tell your reader more about your characters. If you’re writing in first person you may never describe how that character looks to outsiders and you’ll certainly never put across what others may privately think about him/her. Having your POV characters meet and interact allows you to describe them in a different way.
Are you writing from multiple perspectives, or have you ever tried it before? How many characters are telling your story?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please pop a comment below!
Until next week,