Multiple Viewpoints

It’s not unusual to see multiple viewpoints in most adult books. In fact, it’s unusual not to see them. But in children’s books, even young adult, multiple viewpoints seem to be decried as too old for the reader. That may be true, or it may be that adults are selling teens short.

Teens are much smarter and aware of their world than most adults give them. No, they are not adults in training, but they are exposed to more things than most of us were when we were the same age. Case in point are the phones most teens carry. They are connected to friends all over the world on a twenty-four basis. They can keep up text conversations with multiple people without messing up. Their social media accounts never once give them any issue with what they’re doing on there… or do they?

Yes, teens are accomplished with the latest technology and probably far more mature than their parents and grandparents were a few decades ago. A lot of them, the ones who read, aren’t looking for a mild mannered book, where the hero or heroine follows a set pattern that has been in place forever. Nor do they want a book with teeth, a novel they can follow along on the story line and not get lost or wonder why this person shows up so much but they aren’t getting their own place.
Why not write a multiple viewpoint story? Sometimes we do need to see how others perceive the situation. What could be a middling, quiet story, suddenly becomes a tense, suspenseful back and forth look at a situation from two or three sides. The characters, be they protagonist or antagonist, are striving toward their goals and also having to compete with each other for space on the page.

Your teen reader will enjoy this give and take between the characters. They are seeing the people in the book as real, engaged with each other, much as his or her friends are. Don’t sell teens short. They enjoy complicated stories as much as adults.


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