I’ve been thinking a LOT about writing this week because a) I’m writing a lot and b) I’m talking about writing at the WIFYR Conference in Sandy, Utah, this Thursday. They have opened up the keynote address (which I’m giving!) and the autographing afterwards to the public, which is awesome. All of the presenters at the conference participate in the signing (at least, that’s how it’s been in the past) so if you come you can have books signed by Holly Black, Emily Wing Smith, Martine Leavitt, Kathleen Duey, Claudia Mills, and many more. The King’s English will be there selling books so you can get everything you need right on-site. (Have I mentioned before how awesome this conference is?) Hope to see you there!
Anyway. Back to the writing. I have seven books published now (I’m counting CROSSED because it’s in ARC form and so it is, to some extent, out there in the world in print). And of those seven books, four of them are told from more than one point of view.
Why is that? I think it’s simply because it’s the way that feels natural, most often, to me to tell the story. It’s because I like knowing what everyone is thinking and I like the freshness of seeing the same event, world, etc., from different points of view and realizing that it is not the same at all.
I remembered this once again while we were on our family vacation. My poor boys. We put them in the car and then drove them from the mountains of northern Utah to the beaches of southern California in one day, with horrendous traffic. Fifteen hours in the car are enough to try any small soul, and they did not have the luxury of that awesome DVD player (I found this picture on the interwebs).
At one point, near the end of the drive, they were all just so tired and done. So I wedged myself in between the two car seats in the last row so I could be as close as possible to everyone and change things up a little. And I was kind of stunned. I’ve ridden in the middle row before, but not often in what we call the “very back.” Look at this place! I thought. It’s so huge! And there are so many melty crayons on the floor! It was like I was riding in a whole different car.
Sometimes this is a great way to get unstuck when you’re writing. Even if you’re not planning to write the entire book from another point of view, you can try a scene from a different angle just to feel it out and sometimes you’ll see, Ooh, I’m missing that. Or, it would be much more interesting if I showed this instead.
It can really pay off, in real life as well as writing life. Had I not gotten in the very back and checked things out, I would have entirely missed the extra pack of Cars fruit snacks that I ate later when everyone fell asleep.
What do you think? Do you like writing/reading from more than one point of view?