Point of View

I have somewhat ambitiously decided to write my novel from the point of view of five different characters. At this early stage, it’s all rather same-y. The characters don’t have individual voices; they are all still extensions of me.

Any writer will tell you that in order to write well you have to read. To help me get over my point of view troubles I have been thinking about books that I have read recently that were written from multiple viewpoints and have tried to identify what made them successful.

By far the best example that I can think of is A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. In this novel, each of the four main characters is a 1st person narrator. It is as though the character is addressing the reader directly, speaking to them in their own voice so that the words they use and the way they construct their sentences give an impression of that character’s age, education and personality. I’ve been writing in the 3rd person, which distances me from the characters I am writing about and makes it harder to get into their heads. Over the next few days I will experiment with the 1st person narrative to see if it helps my characters become more real and distinct from one another.

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