Monday, May 18, 2015

A Different Point of View

Each time I sit down to begin a new novel, I find myself facing at least one new challenge that scares me; that forces me out of my comfort zone.

I don’t always know what it’s going to be till I get to that place in the manuscript where I think: “[Insert your favourite swear word here], I have to write a whole battle scene/write as a woman with Asperger’s/have someone speaking the Doric.”

In this latest book I’ve started writing, BELLEWETHER, I’ve already hit three such places – but the latest one, because it happened just last week, is freshest in my mind, and seems the kind of thing to get a good discussion going.

I’ve discovered that I’ll have to write at least half of the past scenes from the hero’s point of view.

My first thought was: “[insert your favourite swear word here], I can NOT write the hero’s point of view. I don’t know how to do it!”

Which, once I had calmed myself with coffee, proved to be not wholly true. In fact, my first book, UNDERTOW (long out of print, and rightly so), had alternating points of view between the two main characters, and in my thriller EVERY SECRET THING some of the people who narrate what they remember to my heroine (a journalist) are men.

But I was 25 years old when I wrote UNDERTOW. I really didn’t know what I was doing, and the book was short. And in my thriller those male voices were still filtered somewhat through my heroine’s first-person voice.

So, yeah. This definitely puts me past the boundary of my comfort zone.

So reassure me. Tell me why you think the hero's voice deserves a place in a romantic novel. What do you enjoy (or not) about reading his point of view?