I’ve two short stories, one that has had two drafts already and another that I’m trying to get through the last act of. Both stories involve the supernatural, and both focus on two characters, a man and a girl (though in each story the relationship dynamic is quite different). As I’m thinking of the different things I could do with each story in order to improve it, one thing comes to mind for both of them and it’s really got me thinking about the possibilities.

One story is State Fair, which I’ve mentioned here before and is about fairgrounds haunted by ghosts. The other is called Streghe (that’s Italian for “Witches”) and is based off a witch mythology I learned about in my History of Witchcraft (that class is already pretty useful). At their current stages, both short stories are told mostly from the male character’s point of view. So I’m thinking to myself, one of the ways to improve them might be to tell part of the story from the female character’s point of view.

Two narrators in a single story isn’t unusual. I’ve read a couple of well-known short stories that were told in this manner, one of which immediately comes to mind is The Falls by George Saunders (boy, is that one a trip). And the Bartimaeus books, which I loved as a kid, often had two to four narrators, depending on which book you were reading. And most of my novels are told from multiple points of views (and people tend to like those). So I’m wondering why I haven’t tried that with my short stories. Heck, I’m wondering why I haven’t tried it with either of these short stories. I mean, State Fair‘s main character spends most of the story following a girl named Lizzy around the park, so why did I not get her POV on being followed around? And the events of Streghe happen as much as to my young female protagonist Sarah as it does to my nasty male antagonist Tom. Not sure why I’m saving her POV to the end.

Well, it’s something I’ll definitely try. Since I’m still working on the first draft of Streghe, I’ll see about getting Sarah’s POV in this thing, maybe heighten the mystery element of the story by including her. When I get around to another edit of State Fair, I’ll see where where I can put Lizzy’s point of view. It’d be interesting to see how she reacts to a ghost following her around.

But what do you guys think? Am I onto something? Do you use multiple narrators in your short stories? And if so, how does it usually work out for you? Let me know, I’d love to discuss.

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