Making a Connection by Elizabeth Goddard

Does point of view or narrative form play a role in your decision to purchase a novel? For instance, some people prefer reading novels that are written in first person over third person. For a while, I was stuck in third person—if I picked up a novel in first person, I would put it down. But I’ve learned to enjoy any narrative form.

Then there are people who prefer stories that are written in only one point of view. Others prefer more than one or two points of view. I enjoy reading stories that have multiple character views and the author reveals the story through their eyes. I love how an author will end a scene with a cliffhanger that’s  in one character’s view, and then I’m left to read through another character’s scene and resulting dilemma before I find out what happened in the last scene. These sorts of twists and turns will keep me on the edge of my seat. Add to that, I’m left to consider how these characters will meet or how their stories will fit together further along in the book.

If the author is skilled, I end up caring about all the characters. I feel connected to them.

I once met someone who would skip over a point of view switch so she could stick with the same character throughout the novel. Imagine!

I’m not sure how she could keep up with the story, considering how much is revealed through multiple characters. But she was an avid reader, so somehow she made this method of reading work for her. I’ve often pondered why she would read this way.  Had she grown comfortable with the character and become unwilling to let go? Perhaps it went much deeper—she connected with the character.

Photographer Michael Adams makes a good point in his article* when he says: “People will pay for connection; it’s what’s missing in their lives.” Though his article is about photography, it applies to everything because he’s right—connection is what’s missing in our lives, which is strange considering how much more we’re connected in this digital age.

Maybe when we read, we’re searching for that missing connection in the characters of novels.

At the end of the day, or ahem, the end of the novel, it’s all about connection and how deeply you connected with the characters. That’s the novel that will stay with you.

What was the last book you read that you felt connected with the characters in a personal way?


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4 Responses to Making a Connection by Elizabeth Goddard

  1. Marianne says:

    Hi, Elizabeth. i still prefer the third person point of view, though more and more of the novels i have read and reviewed are in the first person. Although i enjoy multiple points of view in a novel, sometimes it gets confusing. And every once in a while i love reading a suspense novel where the point of view is only from the good guys, not any of the bad guy. There is more of a surprise when you’ve heard nothing from the bad guy. So, whatever you write, i’ll probably read. Thanks for your view point!


  2. Beth Goddard says:

    I’m with you Mariann. While I prefer third, in the end I will enjoy anything that is well written, and sometimes, even something that isn’t well-written! LOL Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  3. Maureen Lang says:

    I like novels with either 1st or 3rd person POV! I do tend to prefer books with fewer POVs, which is probably why I can enjoy 1st person which is so limited. 3rd person is great, too, though but I prefer stories that have only a couple characters so I can connect to each on a deeper level. The last book I read that used many, many POVs was Ken Follet’s Fall of Giants. It took me a while to get into it, and because there were so many POVs I had to keep juggling them, keeping them straight. I will say that I enjoyed the novel in spite of this, but probably would have liked it better with half the POVs and half the length (it’s just shy of 1,000 pages).


  4. Beth Goddard says:

    I loved The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet, and I think I’ve already said that somewhere. That, too, was a thousand pages and I read it twice. But hey. . a thousand pages–you need more than one point of view! LOL


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