I have been a little stuck on my novel writing lately, and I have been struggling to understand why. I have the events of the novel in place both in my mind and in my notes. I have several different writing exercises I use to get un-stuck, and indeed I have written a few pages off that. But I keep coming back to the beginning of my most recent chapter stumped. Upon some reflection, and an HBO Game of Thrones marathon, I came to the conclusion that I am fighting myself on which POV I should be writing in.
This has been a problem from the very first paragraph of my very first draft all the way back in 2008. I started writing the story in a first person narrative. I don’t mind that style, in fact there are several authors that write that way who are very talented. An example would be Janet Evanovitch, author of the Stephanie Plum mysteries. The problem I ran into was that my leading fellow is a bit clueless about what is really going on around him- and if he is clueless then he can’t exactly inform the reader, can he?
So in my third or fourth rewrite I decided to switch to third person. This was going well. I could use small clues to let the reader know my main character missed something, but then there was still the issue of him not always being where the action was.
Enter my latest rewrite.
I have included the POV of two other character to briefly include scenes that the main character is not a part of, but that effect him. Then I even included a very brief prologue that includes imps and changelings that I plan to weave into the rest of the story going forward (you can read that in a previous post).
I thought I had solved my problem; for a while I wrote blissfully un-blocked. But now my over active, day dreaming mind has created a new problem. I am getting invested in another character, who keeps giving me awesome ideas to expand upon my original story- bits of story that are part of the same world but do not necessarily revolve around the one main character anymore. Thus my current re-block, and my habitual retreat into the living room to watch Television and pout. As it turned out this distraction actually got me thinking.
While watching Game of Thrones I considered how many different people we follow throughout the series, and I found myself wondering if I was limiting myself too much by trying to focus on only one leading character.
The way I figure it, I can go ahead and write the additional chapters with the other characters. When I’m done with all of it I can reorganize it, and/or trim out any pieces that don’t really contribute to the story. That way, I’m not holding myself back, and I can still write the best version of my novel.