| Don’t Write Alone
Free Write Stuck in Your Own Head? Try Someone Else’s
Choose a scene you’re working on in your novel and consider what that scene might look like from the perspective of someone else in the room.
It’s no secret that writing a novel is a huge endeavor. Writing anything, of any length, takes time and patience and revision.
When writing a novel, there are so many things to consider. Where does your story take place, for instance, and how will you bring that place to life on the page? Who is your protagonist, what defines them, and how are they telling this story? What is their point of view? And what—or whom—will impact and influence their point of view?
When writing a novel or a short story, so much of what makes the story “work” comes down to balancing all these elements. And when you’re stuck with a single character, in a single point of view—for a longer project especially—sometimes the writing can feel (and become) claustrophobic and stunted.
Choose a scene you’re working on—a place that feels sticky to you, a favorite moment, or simply wherever you are right now in your draft—and consider what that scene might look like from the perspective of someone else in the room. I’m picturing a person in the corner of a party, an observer looking over at your protagonist. Or maybe it’s your protagonist’s best friend. Or maybe it’s a minor character, someone who is only mentioned a handful of times, someone who is otherwise relegated to the periphery of the story you are telling.
Write, unfiltered, from their perspective. What are they seeing that your narrator or protagonist might be missing? What things are they going through or thinking about outside of the explicit story being told? How do they differ from or align with your protagonist?
Do this as many times for as many characters as you like. Get to know these people outside your standard writing bubble. You may be surprised by where they lead you.
If you enjoyed this prompt, Devon is teaching a six-week online fiction workshop that begins in August. Check it out here.