Novel Perspectives

Everyone is a writer nowadays, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There’s a lot of interesting perspectives and stories that come to mind when someone puts their pen to paper. Some are good, some are bad, and some write the worst thing ever that gets sold because it’ll fit into a fad. This has happened a lot.

Anyway, when I think of writing a story I always wonder what the best way to write it is. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is perspective, and most of the time I use first person. I enjoy the immersion of my feet in my characters shoes, you know? It’s fun sometimes to imagine I am s/he and I want save the word, be Katniss Everdeen, or something to that effect. Most of the time I end up wanting to be a crazy person who has self esteem issues or is just trying to survive some post apocalyptic world. It’s fun all the same. However, whenever I write characters like that, read characters like that, I wonder about the villain.

Is it really so difficult to write in their perspective? Scratch the serial killer, or the satanist, or whatever. Some things are meant for television, I get that. But why don’t I see more popular novels from the villains perspective?  I was walking around, running errands the other day when I suddenly got the idea for a story. It was about a girl (of course) whose story suddenly progresses from victim to villain. What other books have done that?

I am seriously curious. If anyone out there knows of a book completely written in the point of view of a villain, I would love to know about it. I can’t think of any.

I read recently on a blog or yahoo answers, somewhere, that Frankenstein could be considered written in the perspective of a villain. You know, Victor Frankenstein made the monster, so he’s responsible, but I could argue against. As I am sure many of you could too. The point is: Why is it believed to be so difficult to write from a criminals perspective? Does it hit home? Seem to foreign? Uncomfortable?

Somewhere, someone wrote that it just wasn’t possible to tell the story right in that perspective. That the heroin or hero had a more detailed look at the events. But what about the corruption? The darker parts to the story?

When I write I want to focus on the characterization of the players in my little twisted game called story. I want to know motivations, leave behind questions, and give answers or a really bad feeling. Despair, Abandonment and Agony (this is where my philosophy class kicks in) is what every human feels. I want to see characters be as human as possible. Nineteenth century novelists tried to be as realistic as possible. I think they were on to something, but some were too analytical (Try reading: Recalled to Life by Grant Allen, it’s a mess).

What we need in stories and characters is motivation. We need to see determination and emotion, and not corny little quips and loopholes. We need humanity at it’s best, and it’s worst. I want to see a novel where the villain gets a really good back story and we slowly see why the hero was needed in the first place. I want subplot and subtext and reading in between the lines every single line. I want context and pretext and every kind of text there is!

I want a damn good book.

I want a novel with weight. A villain I can hate and sympathize with and in a way root for on some level because I can’t help but be led to understand them. I want to feel bad about it too.

Show me a book that does that. I’d love to read it.

And if I can’t find. Well, damn. I guess I’ll have to write it.


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