NaNoWriMo: Change Perspectives

As the end of Week 2 of NaNoWriMo approaches, some writers may be slowing down and losing the motivation that they had started with at the beginning of the month. Stress, fatigue, and life have all started to interfere with the writing process and some of us have hit a wall. Whether it’s a lack of ideas or just a lack of words, this is the time of the month when some writers start to get behind and panic. If these feelings sound familiar, you may need a change in perspective.

Most writers write from one character’s perspective, most commonly from the point-of-view of the hero. This can be great in many ways and through this writing technique, we begin to get attached to the hero and sympathize with the challenges he may run into throughout the book. However, if you are only writing what the hero sees, you may be limiting yourself. In order to shake things up and add some spark back into your novel, write from a different character’s perspective. Not only will this change the way you see your story, but it may also give you new ideas and I guarantee it will increase your word count.

An interesting change in perspective could be from the hero to the villain. In our writing rush, we may focus so much on the hero and think of the villain almost as an afterthought. However, the villain, in some ways, is just as important as your hero. Try writing your next chapter from your villain’s perspective. Not only will you force yourself to get into the head of your villain, but you will see the world as your villain sees it. This will be drastically different than how your hero sees the world. Even if you end up deleting these extra chapters in later edits, this technique will help you learn more about your villain and in turn, when you write about your villain from your hero’s perspective, it’ll make your villain seem much more complex. Nobody wants to read about a villain who is just evil because he has to be. Diving into the mind of your villain to find his motivation will create more layers and make this character vastly more interesting.

Not only will a change in perspective alter the way you see your characters, it’ll also add events into your story. While your hero is marching off to fight the villain, the villain will obviously be doing something. What is the villain doing? Are other characters involved? How would this affect the hero? Writing about events that are outside the hero’s point-of-view will expand the world you’ve built in your book. In fact, you can add an entire subplot that you might not have previously considered by thinking in the head of a different character.

Obviously, you are not limited to just changing to the villain’s perspective because you should have a whole cast of characters to choose from. You can change perspectives to the hero’s best friend or mentor. Although the characters may experience similar events as your hero, everyone sees things differently and characters are no exception. Viewing similar events as a different character may give you a new look at what your hero is facing. This might even affect how you write from your hero’s perspective later on in the story. This fresh look at your novel will give you that motivation you need to break through your writer’s block and continue writing.

If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year, I hope your novel writing is going well and you’re on target to complete your goal! If you have any thoughts to share about a change in perspective, please share them in the comments!

Until next week,

Debbie

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