Welcome to the Class of 2k21 Craft Corner! These posts will be dedicated to sharing writing tips and tricks we’ve picked up on our journeys to publication. Each month features a new theme with insights from members of the Class of 2k21; this month, we’re discussing point of view.
Whether you are a long-time creative with too many ideas to wrangle or a beginner with no idea where to start, we hope you’ll find something you can apply to your writing journey. Let’s get started!
Louisa Onomé: I tend to write single point-of-view stories, but I love multiple POVs because they’re such a great way for the reader to really connect with a character. Recently, I was asked if there was a limit to how much a character can carry in a POV, even if they’re a secondary or tertiary character. I always like to think that, no matter if a character is a primary character or not, it’s important to respect their place in the story, and that includes maintaining the integrity of their POV. After all, primary characters still need a strong supporting cast! When crafting a character’s
POV, I like to pay attention to their unique worldview and highlight the ways in which their observations move the story forward. What one character notices, another character may perceive in a different way, so paying attention to those small details is key.
Payal Doshi: POVs are an especially useful tool to show different aspects of the same story. I’ve used two POVs in REA AND THE BLOOD OF THE NECTAR – the protagonist and the antagonist. I found that multiple POVs works well in my novel because it helps show the antagonist’s side of the story and the motivations for their actions. Having the reader see the plot from the antagonist’s POV also helps increase the tension in the story. There were instances when the reader knew what the stakes were for Rea, when Rea (the main character) herself, was still unaware of them. That makes the story even more exciting! I also used the multiple POVs to draw parallels between the personalities of Rea and the antagonist. There’s many ways you can play around with multiple POVs and use them to add depth to your plot. But one of the most important things to remember is to keep each of the POV’s ‘voice’ different. Readers should easily be able to distinguish when the POV has changed, or else, it will leave them confused and it can muddle up the reading experience.
Auriane Desombre: Playing with POVs can be such a fun way to look at the story and each character from different perspectives. I THINK I LOVE YOU is narrated by Emma and Sophia, the two main characters and love interests, and writing from each of their points of view helped me dig deeper into their characters, internalities, and backstories. I think it resulted in both of them being much more fleshed out! Dual points of view in a rom com can also be fun for the reader, because it allows you to see how each character feels about the other. The most important thing to think about when writing more than one point of view is the voice, since you want to make sure the different POV characters are easily distinguishable. One strategy I used is to think about the different ways the characters see the world: what are their core values? What’s most important to them? These things will influence the way they interact with their environment and with other characters, which will in turn help make their POV unique!
Thanks for joining us! Craft Corner will be back in May with our thoughts on writing strong settings. See you then!