Chasing my crazy dream in the writing world…

DO WE NEED A DIFFERENT POV? September 14, 2012


Confession time.  In the summmer of 2006, a friend who was a sixth grade teacher told me about a book I had to read.  It was a little unknown novel titled, TWILIGHT.


I read it and thought it was a decent story, put it on the shelves with my other books, and didn’t think a thing about it.  A year later, I couldn’t go anywhere without hearing, seeing or reading about the flurry of girls and women obssessed with the book.  In fact, I was in a tiny airport in Cabo San Lucas and sitting across from me was a man in his early 60s and what was he reading? I don’t think I have to say any more about the frenzy and how many people it touched.


In 2008 with the craze still running rampant, it was revealed that Stephenie Meyer had re-written TWILIGHT from the POV of Edward, titled MIDNIGHT SUN.  The file got leaked on the internet, without Meyer’s permission, and eventually she posted it on her website for all her rabid fans to read. I read it, but I didn’t feel it really added much to the original story.


Why am I blathering on about this?  Well because I just discovered that Veronica Roth has just done the same thing with the release of a little thing called, FREE FOUR.  It’s one chapter from DIVERGENT, told from Four’s POV.  In case you’ve already read the series, I’ll tell you it’s the scene where he throws knives at Tris’ head.





All this has me asking –  do we need to read a book again, but from another character’s perspective? Will it add anything to the original concept? Would you want to reread HUNGER GAMES but from Peeta’s viewpoint?  Would it change how you perceived Katniss’ story?


It has me thinking about so many other possibilities.  What about HARRY POTTER? Would you want to read GOBLET OF FIRE from Ron or Hermione’s perspective? Although I will admit, I’d spend big bucks to reread HALF-BLOOD PRINCE if it was written from Snape’s POV.


So what do you think?  Is it helpful to the reader to get another character’s POV on a story, or does it not add anything to the overall concept?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!


6 Responses to “DO WE NEED A DIFFERENT POV?”

  1. Not to be rude to anyone, this is just my opinion but I think a book in another characters POV is just a good way to make money out of something that got really popular. I don’t think I’d ever read a book from another character’s POV. Yes maybe Snape’s but nothing else 😉

    • Thanks for your comment, Khaula. It’s definitely an issue that is left up to the individual to decide. I just wonder if this will become a trend as certain books become more popular in the marketplace.

  2. deshipley Says:

    For readers who didn’t care about the story as it was told the first time, probably not. However, when you really enjoy a story, you’re usually keen to read more of it, even if the only thing that’s changed is the character telling it. (After reading “Pride and Prejudice”, for instance, I was happy to read “Mr. Darcy’s Diary” by Amanda Grange — nothing really new, just Darcy doing all the talking). And depending on who that character is, it could be quite revealing.

    Books are like real life in that you don’t get to see everything. There could be any number of exciting things happening behind the scenes or during time periods that get skipped over because, cool as they are, they slowed down the book’s main plot. And if the story was told was a single point of view, that’s a whole lot of character minds we didn’t get to read. If another character has a perspective different enough from the original, maybe casting everything in an entirely different light, the story could be taken to a whole other level. (“The Wizard of Oz” vs. Gregory Macguire’s “Wicked” comes to mind as an example.)

    One of the writing projects I’ve got sitting on the burner now originally started as a story I’d already written, just retold from another POV and expanded upon. That was several years and drafts ago, and it was awful, but that wasn’t the premise’s fault, it was mine. And the idea of the POV switch served as a launch pad for what, even in its unfinished state, is proving a much better story than I had to begin with.

    So some stories are best told through one POV. Some are best told through another. And some use both together really well. (And some, like “Midnight Sun”, make a great guilty pleasure to read on the school library’s computer between classes.)

    • I love your comments! I think if we get far enough away from a story, we can see it in a better light. I agree with your Wizard Of Oz/Wicked example. Wicked was such an ingenious, new way to see those beloved characters in a new light.

  3. Hmm… Not sure this is a great trend. Unless the other POV really made a difference thematically I would feel like I was paying for the same book twice. And there’s something to be said for the integrity of a book’s POV — I assume the writer used that POV for a reason. Sometimes it’s for the “unreliable” narrator aspect, sometimes to show the world through a particular set of eyes. I really don’t want to read “Jane Eyre” from Rochester’s POV. For one thing, it doesn’t allow me to imagine that I am discovering him and figuring out his personality, just as Jane had to do. Call me “old school”, but unless a writer is deliberately creating a story with different points of view for some stylistic or thematic reason from the beginning, I just view this sort of thing as “Well, that sold a gazillion copies, what else can I write to make money off this thing.”

    • Thanks for your comments, Vicki. I love to hear different points of view. I agree with your comments on Jane Eyre. It’s great to be right there with the character as they discover new things and people in their worlds.

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