Clarify Viewpoint

I know I shouldn't be focused on anything except the book I'll be publishing this month, but I'm anxious to get to the next book I plan to write so I was playing around with some new characters -- getting acquainted with them.

One of the most crucial decisions a writer makes is choosing the viewpoint character for a scene.

How do you know who should be the viewpoint character for your story, or for a particular scene? A lot of writers head-hop meaning that they go back and forth, sometimes sentence by sentence, because they have weak viewpoint skills. If you've ever wavered between one or character or another, here are 4 questions to ask to determine which character should be the viewpoint character.

4 Questions To Clarify Viewpoint

1. Who will be at the center of the action?

2. Who will have everything at risk?

3. Whose struggle toward a goal is the fuel driving the story, or that scene?

4. Who will be moved, changed, by the outcome?

Answer those questions, and you have your viewpoint character. Stay faithful to the viewpoint character and let the spotlight shine on him or her. Don't move the spotlight away unless you have very good reasons for doing so.

Back about 20 years ago there was a popular historical romance author who wrote big books. In one book that I remember, I think she was in every character's viewpoint at least once -- including being in a dog's viewpoint!

Takeaway Truth

Don't be a viewpoint slut, sliding into every character's skin. Choose wisely.

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