I Realized Something Today

Good news, squiders. I’m making some progress on World’s Edge, the story I worked on for Nano this year. Over the past two days, I’ve written 2.5K, which is approximately 17% of my 15,000 word goal for December.

But all November, and the past two days, the flow of the story has felt…different than normal. And I wasn’t really sure why. But I’ve finally figured it out.

You guys know that I like to try new things for Nano, and that this story features a non-protagonist viewpoint character for that new thing.

But something else is different too.

There’s only one viewpoint.

I’ve never written a single viewpoint novel before. Short stories, even novellas, yes–but 100,000 words is a lot of story to rest on one character’s back.

(I would point out that I have written a single viewpoint in novels I’m not writing by myself. That tends to be the way I work collaboratively, with me taking one viewpoint and my co-writer taking another. But there’s still more than one viewpoint in the story.)

When you have multiple viewpoints, you can switch between them, picking who is the most appropriate for different plot points or subplots, plus you can add in relational conflicts and tell each side, and generally show more of the world.

Poor Marit’s got to tell everything all by herself.

It’s got me thinking. I write third person probably 90% of the time, but most single viewpoint novels are told first person. I mean, I’m not going to switch point of view 55K into a novel, but should I rewrite to first person when I’m revising?

The only single viewpoint novel I can think of off the top of my head is Harry Potter, which is, admittedly, not a terrible thing to compare to, but even the HP books have occasional one-off scenes at the beginnings in someone else’s or an omniscient viewpoint.

Things to ponder, I suppose, but not now or all forward momentum will stall out, and that’s the worse.

What do you think, squiders? Can you have a single viewpoint third person story, or is that passe and first person is the wave of the future?

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