Every Single Viewpoint Matters

The end of this month tends to sneak up on me. It definitely did this year.

Yesterday I knocked out the whole first chapter of this new book. I’m pretty happy with that, especially considering the other things that came up to distract my brain yesterday.

Today I’m going to write the second chapter. It’s from a different character’s perspective, so that is kinda difficult. That wasn’t what kept me from writing the chapter yesterday but it could have been. I’ve only got so much head space for characterization, but there’s one way to get better at that. Writing more.

This book will be using three main point of view characters, so it’ll be the biggest challenge I attempt as far novels in a while. Points of view are at the same time both easy to add on and difficult to use properly. No matter what one thinks of Orson Scott Card’s politics, his advice on writing multiple points of view is pretty damn useful.

Card wrote a book about writing called “Characters and Viewpoint”. When I picked it up, over seven years ago, I thought it was strange that he lumped those two subjects together. The combination makes perfect sense to me now. One or more characters usually provides perspective for modern stories, so what those characters are relates very specifically to viewpoint.

Card’s advice in that book is quite solid. I disagree with some of his points, but he’s an old master and I still don’t have a novel out under my own name. In this case I’m very willing to admit my perspective is less informed than his.

For a while after college I was off trying to do single viewpoint stories. I wrote two books like that, one of which was the longest novel I’ve yet written by a significant margin.

Anyway, I guess I’m getting more confident, because at last I’ve become willing to return to an older story idea of mine that has always demanded three point of view characters. That’s the book I wrote the first chapter in yesterday. Today I will write the second chapter, the second perspective.

This time I have an outline. But outlines only give me so much confidence these days. Who knows if this one will work out? I’m sure going to try my best, though.

Off to the word mines. Once again, have a good day!


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