Only eight views today to match January! Come on! We can do it! And, really, if you think about the fact that there are three days less in February, that speaks very highly of the traffic that’s been consistently coming in this month. No, the numbers aren’t high numbers, but it’s something, so thank you all who are regularly checking in and/or randomly stumble upon this blog while wondering the wide world of the web.
I’ve been thought about perspective a lot yesterday, and particularly point of view. With a first person narrative, the point of view is quite clearly the person whose eyes you’re getting the story. But with third person narrative, you clearly have a few options on who the reader is getting the story from. Lately, however, I’ve been feeling that I’m somewhat cheating by several different perspectives through the course of a book, which is odd because I tend to enjoy book where the perspectives switch between different characters, especially if it’s done particularly well (I’m thinking especially of Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey, which was nearly flawless in its juggling of different stories). But lately, I’ve been feeling that if I allow myself to try to handle different narratives, the reader will get way too lost. It’s a reflection of me as a poor writer for certain things, perhaps, but it’s also something that can be fixed by trying to turn a story into the perspective of a single character, or a handful, instead.
What inspired this was the novel for February, as I got to the next chapter and wondered if I should switch perspective, or keep it with Calliana. For the purposes of this book, I think restricting it to her works.
But there’s also Serpent in a Cage, which is the novel I’ve been editing at a shamefully slow pace. It passes through the point of view of no less than ten different characters, which I’m realizing is absolutely absurd. It has an extremely large cast, and I’m realizing that if the point of view of some other characters is needed, they can be done in a separate book; I might even be cutting out a whole chuck of plot involving two characters who I love, but weren’t really adding anything to the story. I then face the problem of whose perspective to choose. If I do a single one, Locke’s is the best way to go, but then you lose out on some important story building in places where Locke isn’t yet. And the hero of the story ends up being Gilferen, besides, and he is separated from the group halfway in. So the rewrite will probably involve me desperately trying to restrict myself to three perspectives (Locke, Gilferen, and Auferrix) and biting my lip against the urge to throw in some of the other characters. It will be a vast improvement, though, I think. It’ll make the story more personal. The emotions of the characters chosen will be deeper and more accessible. And, if you think about the main plot and what the intentions for it are, it makes sense that these would be the characters whose perspective actually matter the most. I could even argue that Locke could be removed, but I think the surprise involved with setting things up so that Locke seems the hero, when most of the focus shifts to Gilferen, and we’d still need a voice for the Battarack party once Gilferen is separated from the group.
A bit longer of a musing today than in the past, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on perspective and point of view if you have them, as well!