Friday, May 4, 2018

Storyteller's Journey

Writing Dual Points of View
There have been many books I've enjoyed that were written with dual points of view. So much so, that when I first imagined my middle grade novel Livvi Biddle The Secret at Stonehenge I knew I hoped to craft it in that format.

Here are a few great novels by authors who used dual points of view:

Lauren Oliver used dual points of view to perfection in Requiem - the finale of her Delirium Series. In this intriguing novel readers are treated to the perspectives of both Lena and Hana - I absolutely loved it!

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Kimberly Derting is a Pacific Northwest author who I was lucky enough to meet several years ago. In The Body Finder Ms. Derting gives us a peek inside the head of not only the protagonist, but also the head of the antagonist. She used this format to enhance the drama and suspense. (This awesome novel was a great reference for dual POV.)

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The Wanderer, by Sharon Creech, is one of the few middle grade novels that is written in dual points of view that I've come across. However, it was extremely successful, receiving the award of Newbery Honor Book in 2001. This epistolary novel gave me the courage to use dual points of view in my own middle grade novel. I was lucky enough to attend a rare workshop taught by Ms. Creech in 2013 - so inspiring!

Sharon Creech - NESCBWI Conference in Springfield, MA.
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One thing I quickly realized was that if I chose to use dual points of view (which I did), I needed to make sure it served my story and was not just a format that I enjoyed reading. Not every story is meant to be written from two perspectives. Since I wanted to get into the head of not only my protagonist, but my antagonist, I felt it would make my story more complex. Lastly, I use "mini-chapters" for my antagonist. The reader learns just enough about the villain to be worried about my heroine. Since my protagonist is a strong character I've never felt like the antagonist was stealing the show.

One benefit to using dual points of view (if done well) is that there is a type of weaving of story threads that occurs. While it might seem like the two perspectives are disconnected in this format, as the story progresses, it can actually make for a more powerful novel.

Do you enjoy reading novels written with dual points of view?

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