A.K.A. It’s All a Matter of Perception
I had a completely different blog post almost ready to go but yesterday was a bit of a gong show which left me zonked and today was a supersized long day at work so what do I do? Bench the planned post and write a new one from scratch close to 11pm. Naturally.
We all know there are the half-empty v. half-full debates, right? In life and in writing, perspective can change everything. This goes beyond the mechanics of first person or third person POV. It can be anything from the translation of a writer’s intention of a story to the page to the reader’s interpretation.
Perfect example was a brief convo at work. One person looked outside and said it was pouring. They based it on the way the rain appeared against the blue of a parked car. Another actually walked outside and instantly said it was barely drizzling. Each had their own perspectives based on what they saw and what they chose to take away from that experience.
How does that translate to writing?
Part of why I’m stalled in my YA Fantasy Series–aside from not actually sequestering myself and forcing words out of my cranium–is that my story has a different impact when told from different perspectives, or seen through a particular character’s eyes. My current pickle is to determine which character’s story I want to tell. Who is the hero of my story? Not to mention the fact that the villain often views himself as the hero of his own story, as well.
I know we’ve heard the saying, “Tell the story you want to tell.” What if there are so many potential stories? And with a series, sooooo many options. Then we have the readers to think about, too. Thankfully, YA has become popular over a wide demographic, but I know it still won’t be easy to take every single reader into consideration.
What I’ve been experimenting with is writing scenes from each character’s perspective to see which works best. Can this perspective hold over the entire book? Other options are to divide the book into parts where the perspective changes or even have perspective changes in each chapter.
In order to see what might work, I’m also continuing to read in the fantasy genre. It’s easy to have a reader lose track of ensemble casts. While I have many fairy tale and literary characters that have linked backstories, I don’t want to “kitchen sink” each book in the series with a boatload of characters without a good reason.
These character switch ups have been eye-opening because, just like in life, one person’s perspective may be completely different from someone else’s, whether it’s self-reflection or general observations. It adds texture to a scene, depth to the character’s development (which may, at times, include their flaws), and at least, in my humble opinion, makes a story more interesting to digest.
What are your thoughts on perspective? I’m going to keep chugging ahead despite the increasingly busy weeks ahead, but hopefully that will motivate me to overcome this obstacle that much sooner due to the time crunch. Nothing more motivating than deadlines, no?
Until next time…