Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Other Side of the Story: Lost in the Crowd: Working With Multiple Point of ...

I thought this was an interesting blog posting, from one of my favorite bloggers, Janice Hardy. She writes about multiple points of view (POV). This is something I've thought a lot about as I've been working on my current WIP. I gave this (Jumbo-sized) comment at the end of her posting:

I am writing a YA adventure/romance from the hero's and heroine's POV. The first four chapters alternate as they are moving towards their "collision". They don't actually meet and speak until the fifth chapter. But in both POV, they are dreading a particular occasion and have already formed prejudices against the other participants that will be there. 

In fact, I use a secondary character (who actually never has any "screen time") in both. This secondary character deeply wounded the heroine, making her suspicious and reactive. The hero has just come from that character's home and where that trouble maker spoke about the heroine in double edged compliments. This makes it easy for him to believe the worst of the heroine, making what could have been a meeting of like minds to a public verbal altercation. This sends the characters off on a winding plot road.

In that particular scene, I started it from the hero's POV, so the reader "gets" why he picks a fight. We can watch how her reactions just stirs up his anger more and convince him that his original assumptions were correct. But just when you think the argument is over and he's delivered his "last word", she laughs at him, the chapter ends and she picks up the story. 

She gives her fake laugh to hide her hurt and anger and frustration at being falsely accused. Even though he knows there are people listening on the other room, she thinks they are alone. And with her feelings rushing onto the page, she changes tactics from defense to offense. This pushes her across the lines of protocol and manners. 

This is an important turning point in the story, turning what should be allies into enemies. They now must work towards their goal separately making the journey more difficult (and interesting).

I really enjoy using multiple POV. There are always more perspectives and perceptions than your own. And that is what brings in so much of the conflict and plot into a story, I've found.

The Other Side of the Story: Lost in the Crowd: Working With Multiple Point of ...: Multiple points of view offers advantages that a single point of view can't provide (be it first or third person). It allows you to follow m...

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