I write from one perspective. All of my novels are told from the point of view of one character only—the heroine. I do that on purpose, and I’ll tell you why.
- With a romance, I feel like dual perspective can slow down the story-telling. You end up rehashing portions of the same action from both points of view. That can turn into more words telling less of a story.
- If I were to do dual perspective, I would need to write half of the book from a male point of view, and I simply don’t think I’m good enough at that to commit to it.
- My biggest reason, though, is this: My books are—first and foremost—romances. The big question that is going to be answered at the end of the book is always:
HOW WILL THEY END UP TOGETHER?
I’ve read a lot of romances that are dual perspective. You get the girl’s point of view, and then it switches to the guy, and so on. This allows you to see how and why they fall in love with each other. A lot of great authors write that way, and many readers enjoy it. Dual perspective definitely has its advantages. But as I’ve given this subject a lot of thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that if the main question of my book is WILL THEY END UP TOGETHER? Or maybe DOES HE REALLY LOVE HER?, then the best way to create doubt, mystery, and uncertainly is for the reader to see, hear, and know only as much as the main character sees, hears, and knows.
For example, if Jane sees John (the guy she likes) sneaking off to have a private conversation with another girl, it’s a lot easier for us to understand and empathize with Jane’s feelings of rejection/uncertainly/anger if we don’t have any clue why he’s sneaking off with that other girl.
However, if it switches points of view and we then see that John is actually meeting mystery girl to pick up a necklace that he special ordered from her, and that this necklace is intended for Jane, readers no longer have reason to worry and stress along with the heroine. We are reassured that John likes Jane and we know that Jane’s doubt is unfounded.
That’s a problem if the main suspense in the story is the question of whether or not their relationship will work out. We, as readers, say, “Phew! He likes her. What a relief,” and the suspense is cut off at the knees.
That’s not to say that dual perspective romances don’t or can’t work. It’s just a choice. I like the suspense of wondering, both when I write and when I read. That’s why I choose to stay in the heroine’s head, allowing the reader to experience the vulnerability and excitement that comes along with not knowing.
So, I invite you all to join me in the not knowing.
**My newest book, If I Could Stay, was released last week and is available on Amazon.