Teen Librarian Toolbox
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On Writing Multiple Points of View, a guest post by Dana Swift

Picking the point of view for your story is one of the first and most important steps. It’s also one of the most exciting. For me point of view, more than any other literary element, connects to every aspect of craft. From what figures of speech your character uses all the way to overarching plot and structure, point of view is infused in the narrative.

When I set my sights on becoming an author, I learned about the craft behind point of view. How a writer can hide things from the reader, let readers in on a secret while the characters are kept in the dark, amplify a scene, make a character more relatable, or weave together multiple plotlines. I figured out how it worked. I just had to decide who was telling my next story.

Writing Cast in Firelight

When writing my debut, CAST IN FIRELIGHT, I immediately set off to write a dual point of view novel. At the heart of fantasy world full of action and magic there is a romance between my two main characters, Adraa and Jatin. Much of their love story centered on them falling in love not knowing who the other is. The dual point of view narrative let me dive into that mistaken identity plotline and showcase how they were each thinking and feeling about the other.

The romance was strengthened through my choice because I wanted the book to be as romantic and character driven as it was fantastical, and plot driven. If you think about multiple points of view as an extension of story structure instead of merely character selection, then you can dive deeper into genre expectations and what readers want. In CAST IN FIRELIGHT I focused in on the combination of romance and action since I wanted the book to be fun escapism.

Writing Bound by Firelight

When it came time to write the sequel, BOUND BY FIRELIGHT, I knew I wanted to keep Adraa and Jatin’s dual point of view because the story had become both of theirs. To suddenly cut out one or switch points of view entirely would have felt incomplete.

But instead of focusing on the multiple points of view as mostly a romantic devise, I used a more traditional fantasy narrative in which the two characters had their own plotlines. So instead of picking the best character point of view to hold a scene I was writing based on weaving two interlaced storylines. It held a new challenge for sure and in my opinion amped up the action and pacing.

Yes, point of view can be a simple choice. You can have one point of view or ten. But it’s more than a vehicle to get inside a character’s head. Point of view can shape and enhance the tropes, themes, and even the genre you are trying to execute.

Tips for writing multiple points of view:

  1. You might want to outline since multiple storylines are always harder than one and you will want to make sure the pacing isn’t too slow or too fast.
  2. You can find a character’s unique voice through writing and crafting your story so don’t be afraid to get the structure of multiple points of view plotted or drafted and then you can go back and edit to make sure each character sounds as they should.
  3. Don’t be afraid to write out of order if that is part of your process.
  4. Have a scene or chapter break when you need one. And I advise changing points of view with those breaks so as not to confuse readers.
  5. This is advice for all writing, but I think it applies well to multiple points of view storytelling. Arrive late and leave early. It’s always good when writing scenes to get to the heart of the scene as soon as possible and move to the next once you’ve captured that moment.
  6. Read in your genre to learn the purpose and common uses of multiple points of view. For instance, romance uses multiple points of view very differently than epic fantasy or thrillers.

Meet the author

Photo credit: Oak Moon Photography

Dana Swift started making up fantasy worlds when she was eleven years old and hasn’t stopped since. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned degrees in English and Advertising. While in college, Dana competed as a saber fencer and learned a thing or two about fighting, parrying and how it feels to fall in love with your sparring partner. She currently lives with said husband in Miami, Florida. Her YA Fantasy debut, Cast in Firelight will be published by Delacorte Press January 2021 and the sequel, Bound by Firelight, January 2022.

Social media links:

Twitter: @swift_dana

Instagram: @danaswiftbooks

TikTok: @danaswiftbooks

Website: www.danaswiftbooks.com

About Bound by Firelight

The heart-pounding sequel to Cast in Firelight, perfect for fans of epic, sweepingly romantic fantasy by Sabaa Tahir, Susan Dennard, and Mary E. Pearson.

After a magical eruption devastates the kingdom of Belwar, royal heir Adraa is falsely accused of masterminding the destruction and forced to stand trial in front of her people, who see her as a monster. Adraa’s punishment? Imprisonment in the Dome, an impenetrable, magic-infused fortress filled with Belwar’s nastiest criminals—many of whom Adraa put there herself. And they want her to pay.

Jatin, the royal heir to Naupure, has been Adraa’s betrothed, nemesis, and fellow masked vigilante . . . but now he’s just a boy waiting to ask her the biggest question of their lives. First, though, he’s going to have to do the impossible: break Adraa out of the Dome. And he won’t be able to do it without help from the unlikeliest of sources—a girl from his past with a secret that could put them all at risk.

Time is running out, and the horrors Adraa faces in the Dome are second only to the plot to destabilize and destroy their kingdoms. But Adraa and Jatin have saved the world once already. . . . Now, can they save themselves?

ISBN-13: 9780593124253
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Publication date: 01/18/2022
Series: Wickery #2
Age Range: 12 – 17 Years

Nonfiction Roundup: MakerSpace Edition

Today I’m sharing with you some of the new nonfiction that I’m loving for Teen MakerSpace and making ideas. As you know, I believe making is a combination of traditional arts and crafts or technology, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. There are lots of great titles out there. And when it comes to making with teens, I have been known to find inspiration in books that are geared and marketed for younger kids even, because you can find inspiration anywhere and just adapt the activities accordingly. So here are some fun titles that I am exploring as we speak. Have fun making!

TPiB: DIY Chalkboard Fun

completebookofchalkboardletteringWe’ve all seen pictures of some of the amazing chalkboard signs outside of book stores with their witty saying about reading. I give everyone bonus points if they make a Tardis reference because I’m a huge Doctor Who fan. Plus, the Tardis is just cool.

Workman Publishing has a great book that will help us all learn the fine art of creative chalkboards called The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering: Create and Develop Your Own Style (by Valerie McKeehan). They sent me a copy in the mail and it will come as no surprise to you to hear that The Teen immediately grabbed this one and started playing with it. And since we were in full locker craft mode, we came up with a couple of ways to make our own chalkboards so that we can practice the fine art of chalkboard lettering, though I should point out that there is in fact a chalkboard or two inside the book itself provided for your practice needs. The book is amazing and is a lot of fun, so do check it out.

The main thing you are going to need for this craft is, of course, a chalkboard surface. A simple walk around the craft store and you will find that you have a lot of options. There are chalkboards that you can glue onto other surfaces, there are chalkboard stickers and there is chalkboard paint. For our purposes we used chalkboard paint. And because I’m investigating making chalkboards in a teen craft setting, my goal is both less expensive and easier to make. If you are making a chalkboard for yourself and have a little more money to spend then there are no limits to how creative you can be.

Chalkboard #1

chalkboard1

Supplies:

  • A blank canvas (purchased at Michael’s)
  • Chalkboard spray paint
  • Duct tape
  • Chalk

This version was actually pretty easy to make. We simply spray painted our canvas with the chalkboard paint and waited for it to dry. I recommend using a couple of coats, which means drying in between coats. We had some other chalkboards around so we practiced our lettering using the book while we waited for the paint to dry.

We then decorated our chalkboard and made boarders, etc. with our duct tape. Pretty simple but satisfying.

Chalkboard #2

chalkboard1

Supplies:

  • Old picture frame (purchased at a thrift store for a quarter)
  • Spray paint (any color)
  • Chalkboard spray paint
  • Matte board
  • Markers, etc. to decorate the painted frame

To prep our project, we first took our frame apart. You can safely discard the glass. We then spray painted our frames our color of choice, in the example above blue. After drying you can use sharpies to draw doodles on the frame if you would like.

To make the chalkboard, you first need to cut a piece of matte board the size of frame so that it fits inside. Then give it a couple of coats of chalkboard paint, allowing the paint to dry fully in between each coat. When your chalkboard is dry you simply put the frame back together with the chalkboard inside.

We had a lot of fun making these and they were a big hit. Together with the book you can do some fun chalkboard things. If you make a bigger chalkboard using a larger frame that compliments your teen area you can create a fun space for your teen area as well to do signage and fun displays.

About the Book:

Hardback, 176 pages  (also available in Electronic book text )

ISBN: 9780761186113 (0761186115)
Published by Workman Publishing
$19.95(US)
Book provided by the publisher
Ubiquitous at boutiques and cafés, on Etsy and Pinterest, in stationery and home decor, the art of chalk lettering is hotter than ever. Valerie McKeehan, an Etsy standout whose work has been featured in magazines and websites from Good Housekeeping to RealSimple.com, teaches us everything we need to know to create gorgeous hand-drawn chalk designs. The book is also a practice space, with three foldout “chalkboards”—the inside cover and foldout back cover are lined with blackboard paper.In over 60 lessons, learn the ABCs of lettering (literally) and basic styles: serif, sans serif, and script. Next, how to lay out a design, combine various styles into one cohesive piece, add shadows and dimension. Master more advanced letter styles, from faceted to ribbon to “vintage circus.” Use banners, borders, flourishes. And finally, 12 projects to show off your newfound skills: including a Winter Wonderland Snow Globe; a smartphone-themed birthday card to text friends and family; a one-of-a-kind party invitation to create, photograph, and mail; and a bake sale sign guaranteed to put everyone who sees it in the mood for a cupcake!