Most compelling point-of-view

by Nadia

Hello! I'm currently fleshing out ideas for a story that I really feel something with.

So, I've always been a sucker for pure-heart noble-spirit protagonists and clever, crazy antagonists. My story is your typical falling-into-a-new-world situation. My hero, a kind young boy who has good intentions but also a pinch of arrogance.

The problem of the story is the insane prince who is acting in place of his dying father. You see, out of pride and conceit he scorned his advisers. Then, when he was forced to watch his kingdom fall apart, he went mad with grief for the country which, in his heart, he loved and also was enraged by his inability to control. Now he's a tyrant, bullying people because, for the brief moments of bullying, he feels in control. Of course, all it does is tear apart the kingdom farther. Black markets flourish. The palace is seeded with greedy men. Most citizens have taken to hiding in secret underground communities, while the unfortunate who are left behind are constantly bullied by the government. And the prince, even in his insanity, does a good job at pretending to be normal, added with charming good looks, well, you can see how that's a problem.

I'm torn between writing a tragedy in which the POV character is the prince who is defeated, or writing the normal POV from my hero (who will be as confused with the world as the readers, thus giving me a chance to explain many things). I'm sure ideally the hero would be nice, but I feel awful for my crazy little prince and I'm worried that it would be harder to make the reader feel emotional for him without him as the POV character.

Thoughts are very much appreciated. On a sidenote, I love this site! Very helpful. You are doing a wonderful job.

A hopeless little girl whose heart is being brutally ripped to shreds by her own character.

Response: You do realize you have the option of telling the story from both points of view?

The advantage is that the reader can learn things from the villain's POV which the hero does not. This may be particularly useful if the villain is also the impact character.

Kept in mind that every POV character is the hero of his own story, so if you have two POV characters, it is like having two stories in the same book. The villain's story may be a tragedy while the hero experiences a happy ending.

Even if they share the same overall story throughline, you may choose to give each of them his own personal throughline showing the arc of his inner conflict. Each may be the impact character to the other, or they could have separate impact characters. (For instance, you could choose to make the dying father the impact character to the villain.)

Even if you eventually decide to limit your story to one POV, doing some writing from both perspectives will give you better insight into the characters, so it will be time well spent.

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