Perspective & Breaking Orbit

My WIP novel, Breaking Orbit, has always been about identity and secrets. But it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve realized how important perspective is in creating the dualities and lies that manifest in this novel. Perspective is also a huge part of the dynamics between celebrities, paparazzi, and fans–all of who feature in this novel.

For the first seven drafts, the narrative was told through Remy’s POV via third person limited and some first person blog posts she writes. It wasn’t until I took some time to think about what was missing in this novel to make the world of celebrity and three-month-long arena tours palpable to the reader. I had already invented a fake teen heartthrob and universe that surrounds him–crazy fan girls; rumored celebrity girlfriends; hungry, camera-wielding paparazzi; a career full of successful television shows, movies, and music.

But I was forgetting where celebrity is created and destroyed, the place where fan girls gather to create and converse, where photos circulate endlessly of celebrities at their best and worst, the space where celebrities seem almost human, almost real.

The Internet.

How foolish of me, as a person of the internet. As someone writing a FMC who is deeply entrenched in the online world, especially as it pertains to the fandom.

So I decided I should add in more “perspectives.” I don’t really consider this to be a multi-POV story. I see these other perspectives more as characters my FMC in engaging with and interacting with, not always directly. It’s all content my FMC could easily access and run across online–tabloid articles, Twitter and Instagram posts and interactions, fan girl Tumblr posts, et cetera.

And it’s been incredibly fun to write and research these different perspectives/characters. Even more fun has been seeing how many different ways I can cast light on one interaction.

For instance, early on in the tour, the celebrity at the focus of the story, Grayson West, celebrates his birthday.

Here’s some moments from Remy’s POV:

She should be out on the dance floor. Teagan would welcome her, help her onto the platform. They could laugh and dance and grind together with the levity of drunk party girls. But this was so far away from any world Remy had inhabited; it sent pangs of homesickness through her.

Remy, the FMC and POV character, feels out of place and homesick at the party.

“Everything takes time.” He glanced at the lock screen on his phone, and asked, “Speaking of time, I think I’ve spent enough of it celebrating Grayson’s existence. How about you? Want to share an Uber back to the hotel?”

“Yeah, let’s go.”

Remy followed him back inside. He picked up her hand, and leaned to whisper in her ear, “So I don’t lose you,” before guiding her past the bar and through the thicket of bodies on the dance floor. The room fell away to just noise; all her senses could pick up was Jake’s large, calloused hand holding hers. Tightly. Like he really was afraid to lose her. They waited on the leather couch for Jake to be notified their ride was here. He didn’t let go of her hand.

Remy finds company in Jake sitting outside in a patio area. Their friendship is still in its infancy at this point. They talk about how to keep in touch with loved ones back home while being on tour. And then they decide to share an Uber back to the hotel.

These moments aren’t meant to suggest this was the best party Remy or anyone has ever been to, nor that her departure from the party meant anything more than heading back to the hotel to sleep.

Yet, this party is followed by a tabloid’s coverage of it:

The Scoop: Ain’t No Party Like a Grayson West Birthday Party

posted by Candy

That’s right, we got an invite to Grayson West’s twenty-third birthday bash at San Diego’s Club Cactus. With exclusive access, an open bar, and the entire tour there to celebrate, this was one party we couldn’t miss.

Grayson, as expected, was a gracious host, making rounds throughout the night. We even caught him taking shots with his bus driver!

The other two-thirds of the Turnt Trifecta were having just as good a time on the dance floor as off. Bryce Boyd boogied down with the six ladies who dance on-stage with Grayson every night. Louis, as usual, made rounds snagging selfies with all his tour friends. And being the best bros they are to Grayson, they made sure their man was never without a drink.

Jennah James was also in attendance, but sources say she kept mostly to one of the VIP rooms in the back of the venue. No wonder Grayson kept disappearing!

The party raged long into the night and all in attendance seemed to have a good night. Including Grayson Girl blogger queen, Remy Anderson, who left the celebration early with Delia O’Neil’s ex-boyfriend, Jacob Smith (So much for Jelia getting back together).

Check out the slideshow below for exclusive photos from the party and leave your birthday wishes for Grayson in the comments below!

The tabloid paints the party as nonstop, larger than life fun full of dancing, alcohol, and romance. The headline is even in reference to the phrase that filled the Internet following the release of the 2013 movie adaption of The Great Gatsby.

As I crafted tabloid articles, blogs, and social media posts to pair with the scenes in this novel, the web of celebrity Remy is caught in feels so much bigger and more complex than I originally painted it. There’s so much under the surface of these interactions and articles. I think that plays well with the theme of identity throughout the novel.

Social media, blogs, photos–they’re all supposed to give us insight into each other’s lives and thoughts like we didn’t previously have. We’re constantly talking about how accessible celebrities are today. We can tweet them! Follow them on snapchat! Ask them questions on Tumblr!

And with that, we supposedly know entirely too much about everyone. Yet, I’m not sure tweets, Instas, and snaps are enough to fully depict who we are. Not like our parents, friends, significant others know us. We are still unknowable. Even I to myself feel unknowable; there are depths of my subconscious as dark and unexplored as the deepest parts of the ocean. Thus, it seems incredibly foolish to claim to know or understand a celebrity or any person of the internet you don’t really know in real life.

And that’s why I love both reading and writing stories. I love exploring the depths of characters, becoming intimate with their thoughts and mannerisms like I have with a small amount of people in real life. I like getting caught in that web as I write and revise, constantly asking myself if I’m seeing everything going on between these characters and within the world they inhabit.

Perspective is everything and it is so fun to play with.

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3 Comments

  1. This was a great post. I can’t seem to find the follow button. As soon as I do, I’ll subscribe.

  2. Perspective is definitely everything. Sometimes just looking at a scene through the eyes of a different character can help make it come more alive. I love how you’ve woven tabloids and other such media into your story. It gives it a extra layer of richness. 🙂

  3. Perspective is SO important that it can make or break a scene. When I get stuck, I try to find another POV and write the scene from there. It doesn’t always make it into the story, but usually helps get me unstuck.

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