Finding the Right Perspective

Other than blogging, I’ve lately had some trouble with that old foe writer’s block.  I finished my first novel last year, and always intended it to be the beginning of a series.  And as much as I loved my protagonist, I wanted to write the second book from another character’s perspective.  I thought it would be a neat idea to see things the way he did, to look at my protagonist from someone else’s eyes, and maybe he could even save her for once.  So I sat down and forced my way through about ten thousand words before I realized it just wasn’t working.

I thought at first maybe it was the plot.  So I tried again, abandoning the original idea for another I’d been saving for the third book.  That made it seven thousand words.

Finally I just gave up on it for a while.  I often need to let ideas stew in my brain before they’re ready for the page, so I thought maybe this was the case.  I worked on something else for a few months; I read a lot; I sought my muse through books and film.  And then a few days ago, I had the most brilliant idea I’ve had in a long time:

Fuck interesting perspective changes.  I’m telling it from my protagonist’s point of view.

I just started on it (as in not just thinking about it, but actually sitting down to rewrite everything), and I’ve only got two pages of rewrite left to go.  I’ve gotten more done on this particular project this morning than I’ve done in months.

This is a useful lesson to remember, self:  if a perspective isn’t working, don’t write from that character’s perspective.  Maybe I just need to get to know that character a little better before I’m ready to see the world from his eyes, but either way this particular story is not his to tell.  The protagonist is funnier anyway.

Now if you need me, I’ll be writing…

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2 Responses to Finding the Right Perspective

  1. culturemonk says:

    First person protagonist view is always what I find to be the easiest……whenever I get stuck that’s what I go back to

    • That’s the easiest for me, too. I’ve only ever written a handful of things that were third-person, and only when first person just wouldn’t tell the story completely. Luckily it suites this project really well.

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