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The video contains captions for anyone who needs them, but I’ve also included a detailed transcript below. Feel free to watch the video, read the post, or both, it’s (almost exactly) the same information either way. Thanks for visiting!
Do you need a second voice to tell your story? A third? Forty seven? Let’s find out.
One of my favorite examples in writing multiple points of view is a movie called Hoodwinked.
A detective mystery retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, Hoodwinked is a great story on multiple levels.
It’s a unique and inventive retelling of a popular story and a pretty well plotted mystery story, but where it really excels are the characters.
The movie is set in a forest populated with fairytale characters and starts with the big climax of the red riding hood story.
Soon after, the cops arrive and everyone is set to arrest the wolf, but first they need to make their statements.
The majority of the movie is told by showing us what happened according to each individual character: Red, Grandma, The Wolf, The Huntsman, each character gets their say.
The mystery can only be solved by examining the evidence from where their stories connect.
This lays the groundwork to help the detective storytelling method succeed, but it also helps in crafting a great retelling. The overall message of the film is that you might not know the whole story, which is a really fun way to look at a fairytale.
Most stories, even complex, intensely plotted ones, don’t need a second (or third) storyteller. In fact, I think using multiple POVs where they aren’t necessary can hurt your story instead of helping it.
No character in any good story knows the full story at the start, but it is important to consider if the reveals or twists of your story need another voice to explain to the reader.
A problem novels with multiple viewpoints often have is that they must retell (or at least recap) events we’ve already experienced. This can very easily pull a reader out of the story if it isn’t done in a unique and engaging way.
Hoodwinked definitely excels at this. Each viewpoint is engaging and entertaining on it’s own and is only improved by connecting to the others.
How does another viewpoint improve upon your story?
Almost every story can be told with a single narrator, even ones told well with more. How do your extra narrators help the suspense of your story? In what ways do they connect?
A story with multiple narrators should never feel like several different stories. Even though they must all feel unique, each story should feel interconnected.
You should all go watch Hoodwinked. You know, for research purposes. It’s on Netflix.
What makes or breaks a multiple viewpoint novel for you? Let me know below.
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