Writing Wednesday is evolving. Since my novel is now being published on Wattpad, one chapter every weekend, I will no longer be posting snippets of that here. Instead, people have requested and shown interest in my process posts so I’m going to start focussing on similar topics about the nitty gritty of writing. I also have to keep in mind that I have a Patreon page now to help me fund a deluxe paperback version of my novel with bonus illustrations, and I have to keep content for the various posts and rewards there. I will still post works of completed writing like short stories here, but less than before.
A topic that has been on my mind ever since I started editing my novel, Fools’ Blood, is how much should writers’ use the point of view of supporting characters? There are some people who will say never at all. There are some who will happily hop from mind to mind to tell their story. Neither way is wrong and I’m not going to tell you which is better. I’m a writer who believes whatever serves the story best is the right thing to do.
To give you an example, the character of P-Head is a supporting character in Fools’ Blood. He is the protagonist’s blood brother and in many ways his foil. I use him to show that however much of an anti hero you may thing Ramses is, he could always be worse, and he takes the creepy stalker-ish nature of the lonely souls class of vampire to an unsettling extreme. In the opposite way, he also tries to stop Ramses from doing some of his crazier stunts. He’s essential, and in some chapters the reader dives inside his head.
I struggled a lot with which of his scenes really needed to stay. He’s a lot of fun to write, especially when he is with his near constant companion, the Gimp, who looks like the character of the same name in Pulp Fiction but only communicates in monkey-like screeches, in a semi-twisted homage to the Discworld’s Librarian. So I often got carried away and the purpose of the scene became buried in sexual deviancy and adventures.
My solution was this: I went back to the most basic purpose of the scene. Does the scene achieve that purpose? Are there any parts that are not contributing to reaching the goal and aren’t essential character development? Alright, then they had to go. Even if they were really funny.
As much as I like certain extra scenes, and they may even be funnier than what best serves the scene, I have always appreciated a concise story far more than I have a saggy, overweight laugh-riot. And after all, switching POV is just another tool in the writers’ arsenal to build tension, describe essential plot developments that our protagonist can’t see, even out the pacing, etc.
But what’s your view? How do you use multiple points of view? As usual, I’d love to hear your thoughts, and a visit or a share would be greatly appreciated with hugs.