Skip to content
Home » Blog » The Point of Good Perspective

The Point of Good Perspective

Perspective can turn an average plot into an interesting story. From the first person view of a specific character, what seems obvious turns into a huge plot twist. Or maybe third person allows the lore and world-building can fit into the story better without finding excuses for the main character to have it explained to them.

The realisation of just how much a character’s perspective can change came from a YouTube video. Race Oates does an in-depth and fascinating read through of the book and you can watch it here. Please be aware of trigger warnings. In Colleen Hoover’s Verity, the reader follows Lowen. Lowen falls in love while ghostwriting the book of her love interest’s wife who is bedridden in a coma. From another perspective, the book could easily be seen as a thriller or horror, with the man manipulating an eager woman after injuring his wife to the point of a coma after reading her disturbing fiction written for therapy. A simple switch of perspective turns what some people find cute into something much more horrifying.

While searching through old projects, looking for sparks to set of creativity and pull me out of my current writing slump, I discovered some old stories. Most of my early novels (that were actually novellas, hovering around 25k words) were hard to put into a genre. I like reading through, reusing plot points or places, sometimes an idea grabs me. As I look back at my stories, I can see how some can be improved by picking a good perspective.

My first full-length novel was a fantasy romance between a women’s rights activists and a king. It was originally quite cliché and somewhat average for the genre. But in the background, there were tensions with a neighbouring country and even an assassination attempt which pushes the characters to admit their feelings for each other. But the context and impending war felt forced in an otherwise cute romance novel.

Until the king’s perspective is introduced. Amongst pressure to marry and navigating attacks from the neighbouring country, he falls in love. The romance isn’t the sole focus but it adds layers to the story, and stops it from relying on cliches to keep the plot moving.

Another of my stories was fairly genre-less, revolving around a teenage girl whose mother is ill and she moves in with her aunt. After a murder attempt, a man kidnaps her in a misguided attempt to prevent the murder attempts. Told from a different perspective, the story is a thriller with betrayal from family and friends. Maybe a private investigator hired by the girl’s aunt? Or perhaps one of the girl’s friends taking it upon themselves to figure out where their friend has disappeared to.

Picking the right perspective is integral to the kind of story the author wants to tell. It can add layers to a story, or put a new spin on a trope. But if your romance could become a thriller by switching to the love interest’s point of view, maybe take a closer look at your romance.

If you’d like to look at my main project, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *