October 24, 2018

Who’ll Get a Voice?

By Mary Albers Felkins

No, that’s not the author version of The Voice. Or maybe it is.

I’m at a pivotal point in the first draft of a jilted bride novella and have wrestled with a weighty - and familiar - writer decision: Through whose point of view should this particular scene be written? Who will take center stage? Who gets to speak?

In the past, I’d simply ping back and forth pretty equally between the heroine and hero in my romance stories.

You know, she speaks, then he speaks. Back to her. Or maybe I’d let the hero have a voice in the next scene before crawling back into heroine’s skin to give her a voice.

But now, fingers hovering over the keyboard, I’ve learned to ask an important question which guides my decision:

Through whose perspective will I be able to squeeze out the greatest emotion for the reader?

Because emotion drives story. No matter the genre.

If it’s a hero’s proposal, maybe the heroine should allow the reader to experience this in her POV so they can celebrate with her more deeply. Particularly if she’s believed the lie that no one would ever pursue her.

But what if the ring came at great cost to the hero, one he’d sold something of value to acquire and hoped she’d accept? Maybe the reader would enjoy what that felt like, lowering with nervous energy to one knee, offering his beloved a ring.

Sometimes both characters insist on being heard. You hear it? Listen to me! Listen to me! Since I’m not writing in omniscient POV, I’ll have to choose.


To help untangle the knot of confusion, I’ll write the scene from both perspectives. Then sit back and ponder them awhile until I determine which stirs my soul a bit more.

If I’m not moved or the scene feels a little meh or awkward, my reader might find better things to do with their time than press on through to the end.

As much as I have my favorites, the character whose point of view ignites a greater fire of emotion will earn the privilege of speaking so those pages keep on turning. All the way to a breathlessly satisfying end.
Mary Albers Felkins is a contributor to writer’s blogs and on-line magazines. Her debut, contemporary romance, Call To Love, (www.pelicanbookgroup) will be released November 15th, 2019. The completed cover anxiously awaits being partnered with the story behind it. She is represented by . Raised in Houston, Texas – and forever a Lone Star girl - she and her husband Bruce moved to the foothills of North Carolina in 1997. They have four (adolescent to young adult-sized) arrows in her quiver. She can be lured from her writing cave if presented with a large, unopened bag of Peanut M&Ms or to watch Fixer Upper. If, upon introduction, she likes your first or last name, expect to see it show up in one of her novels. To follow Mary’s story-style devos each week and receive book news via email, join other #Felkinsfans at

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