Who’s View is it Anyway?

This blog has been a bit silent of late – that’s because I am flying towards the end of the first draft of The Dare Club and have been responding to the best tip for a writer on how to complete a novel I know – that of ass on Chair. Or arse, if you’re from the UK. Apologies for the language!

But as the end of the first draft comes into view, I’m starting to anticipate some of the feedback I’ll get from the lucky people who will be privileged to read this first effort. The Dare Club is written – as is The Goddess Workshop – from 4 different points of views. In both novels I have started out using one point of view per chapter to give the reader the opportunity to really get to know that character. Then, as the story progresses, I have sometimes switched mid character to another point of view, making this shift as smooth as possible by the use of gaps and asterixes and use of names etc. For me, this is fine – I think it adds to excitement and interest, but I have found that not everyone agrees with me. Some people would prefer me to stick with the one viewpoint per chapter method.

In both The Goddess Workshop and The Dare Club there are plenty of scenes where all the viewpoint characters are present together. Then I have to choose which of the character’s viewpoints the scene is going to be told from. I find this interesting and rewarding. Hopefully my readers agree with me!

Just lately there has been a very interesting discussion about viewpoint on ROMNA, the cyber forum of The Romantic Novelists’ Association. The majority of writers who took part thought multi viewpoints and switching viewpoint mid chapter where fine, which was very encouraging! And Janet Gover shared an excellent technique that she uses to keep track of all the different viewpoints. I always leave a first draft to brew for a while before I go back to it to make revisions – that way I find I can see it better and I’m not afraid to make changes or cuts. But when I’m ready to look at it again, I definitely intend to use Janet’s method to keep tabs on my viewpoints. Here’s a link to her blog so you can see what she suggests.

http://janetgover.com/?p=3471

What do you think about multi-viewpoints and how to manage them? I’d love to know!

www.margaretkjohnson.co.uk

Twitter: @margaretkaj

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4 thoughts on “Who’s View is it Anyway?

  1. Nice post Margaret – a lot of us work with multiple viewpoints – and they can be hard to manage sometimes. I think it really helps to discuss this sort of thing with other writers – we can all learn from eachother. Janet

    • Thank you, Janet! Yes, you’re right – it is very helpful to discuss this sort of thing. The discussion on ROMNA was really interesting and useful. So was your tip about using a graph. 🙂

  2. The graph idea is brilliant for multiple POVs.

    I don’t remember being at all confused by your POVs in The Goddess Workshop, and as I now read like a writer, that suggests you did a good job with them.

    I don’t mind reading multiple viewpoints, as long as they are well done, but I have no desire to write in more than two. My current WIP only has one and I’m worried it’s too much for one character to carry all alone

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