[Look] Who’s Talking?

2016 #ROW80 Round 1: Check-In 14 | 10 Minute Novelist: Update 7

Getting the reader to connect with your words starts from the very first line. And who says that line is as important as its content.

I normally use alternating POV between my MCs to tell their stories. Only one of my books, Binding Jax’s Heart, has a single narrator. In it, there are three MCs, and I decided to let Jax tell his story to focus on his growth and to prevent the POV changes from becoming a distraction.

Every time I start thinking about a new project, I default to a dual POV, even when starting the outline. After I have a better idea of what the characters want to say, then I decided if it’s worth having both.

At the moment, I’m planning to re-write the first chapter of my current WIP in first person past to see if it flows better than on third. And, that brings me to my narrator. If I do that change, then, one of the MCs would become the only narrator in the story. Why? Because I want to create an intimacy, I think, the story is missing. I want my readers to be invested in their love story instead of waiting for the POV to change to see what the other character is thinking. I want them to see the second MC through the eyes of the man that had loved him from afar.

So, that’s my plan for this week. Instead of worrying about word counts and outlines, I’m planning to dive deeper into my MCs’ relationship and the events surrounding it. In the end, I should be able to live their story as they recount it to me.

Now it’s your turn to tell. How do you choose your narrator?


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Ten Minute Novelists



  1. I have usually written from the POV of one main character, but in the novel I have been working on everyone wants their voices heard. Half-way through my first rough draft, I think I had eight POVs. I sat down with everyone and said, “I’m really sorry, but half of you are going to have to go. You are just as important to the story but if you make a big impression on the few POV MCs who get to talk, then your story will still be heard” Ole, Ruth, James, and Rueben all seemed to accept that, which left me with Jenny, Paul, John and Nehemiah, which is still way more characters than I can maybe handle, but I got through the first and second draft and they are all behaving. It is tough though, isn’t it?

  2. I really don’t choose a narrator; that tends to develop along with the planning. For some time, I wrote in third, then switched to first,and now I use both. In third, I go for deep POV with multiple characters (as few as two; as many as five). I’ve made a few short story forays into second, which really helped me connect with characters in seriously altered states, like being very drunk.

    These days, since I write both short stories and novels, there is an organic blend of styles and POVs, depending on the project and the characters. Sometimes the laser focus of first person works better, but other times, the panoramic properties of third work best.

    Good luck with delving into that character relationship! =D

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