Fanfic Writing: A Different POV

One of the fun aspects of fanfic is being able to write in a different point of view than the canon protagonist. There are a couple different common ways to do this. Supporting character, background character, or a complete outsider POV. (That last is usually an OC.)

Outsider POV can be one of the most fascinating ways to pull this off. How does a complete stranger see your heroes, sometimes without ever knowing they’re heroes at all? You can run the gamut of reactions from “Wow, that was amazing!” to “eep, those guys are scary,” to “Really? Really? Why?” to “what just happened?” Just take the canon setting and a typical series of events in it, and consider what they’d look like from a hapless bystander/lawyer/postal delivery guy’s POV. Instead of an adoring audience safely on the other side of a TV screen.

Be warned, though. If you want to pull off outsider POV, you need to know canon well enough to pull in hints and references that will be obvious to a fellow fan. In essence, outsider POV leans heavily on being a series of in-jokes for the reader. One of the most effective fics I’ve run across was a Stargate fic, where a photo lab employee ended up developing pictures from a camera owned by a blonde Air Force major. Let’s just say, that camera really got around. (From a real life POV, security breach! For fic, hilarious.)

(I’ve looked and can’t currently track down the fic. I think it was on the Heliopolis archive? Drat.)

If you’re not sure you can toss in a scatter of canon references and have them make sense without the characters themselves, you might try for supporting character or background character POV. Supporting characters are better when you want to get close to the protagonist and canon events, but look at them from a different angle, with details and interpretations the main character might never see. It’s fun, for example, to read BnHA fics in which Eraserhead asks just what Nezu and All Might are thinking, setting up mock combat scenarios that pit a bullied student against the one who still wants to blow bits off him.

(I’m also in favor of canon divergence fics in which Bakugou finally gets shoved into anger management sessions. Or the even rarer fic in which Katsuki figures it out himself and starts working to be better. See Viridian: the Green Guide for that.)

Background character POVs split the difference between outsider and supporting. They’re a known, if not always named, character in canon, so you have a starting framework for why they’d be mixed up with the heroes in the first place and what they might be like. But there’s usually plenty of room to add details and background to them so you can make a more rounded story character. I recall the poor low-ranking Imperial officer busily working at his keyboard when Darth Vader “accepts an apology” from an Admiral in The Empire Strikes Back. Hears the thud, looks behind him to see the body, up from that to see Vader on the screen-

Turns swiftly back to his keyboard, and starts typing again. That would make an excellent basis for writing a fic about what the average Imperial thinks of fighting the Rebels, serving under Vader, and everything else.

Fanfic is a way to have fun by getting into more of what you loved about a fandom. To poke all the corners and details the creators might not have had time to flesh out. Try poking different POVs, too.


10 thoughts on “Fanfic Writing: A Different POV

  1. There’s also the Opposition POV, where you show what it looks like from the antagonist side or other factions.

    The advantage is that it can guide the reader through very complex responses.
    “They did A, which will have effects B, so I will do C-D-E-F to both counter the problems and set up more success and deal with the fallout.”

    The risk with this perspective is that it can easily turn into fanwank as they stand around looking flabbergasted.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shifting PoV can happen over the course of a series as well.

    Speaking of shifting PoVs, there’s something I’ve been wondering about in your old Urban Legends series (which actually was what introduced me to your writing). After ‘Acquainted with the Night’ the aftershocks of New York’s….newly expanded diversity kind of fell off the radar with people either not talking about it or seemingly not believing it.

    Now I can put part of that down to the SEP field that seems to be in way in the setting regarding ‘weirdness’ people not wanting to broadcast that they turn into ‘monsters’ etc but I can’t see how places like the SGC for instance wouldn’t be going nuts as they’d see it as some sort of mega-uber Foothold situation.

    I’m not asking for potential spoilers or anything like that, but have just been wondering how the city is adjusting/adapting.

    This is at least partially because I’ve constantly had the image of Captain Chavez marching up to Goliath as a gargoyle demanding to know what he was thinking having a roost over her precinct without permission.

    Because in your setting and in canon, Gargoyles tend to be pretty protective/territorial (though not to the point of shoving people out of regions they live in). So I could see some sparks flying due to Chavez’s new instincts.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Pity, though I can understand why. A fantasy kitchen sink of that magnitude can be hard to juggle.

        Good news is that the trio aren’t going to be spoiled for potential girlfriends anymore. 😛

        Though for Goliath, I think it’s the culture differences between Clan Wyvern/Manhattan and the ‘were-gargoyles’ that will be the biggest hurdle for him. While I’d need to double-check but apparently Goliath was visibly saddened when he first met the Avalon clan and found out they had names, particularly with Angela’s “how else would we tell each other apart?”

        It makes sense since he’d be subconsciously expecting them to have the culture of Clan Wyvern since they are that clan’s children. But instead they have viewpoints shaped by their parents; humans. It wasn’t a problem with the other gargoyle clans he met because they weren’t his clan.

        And here he can probably see the clan’s way of life etc simply being washed away by the greater population of ‘new’ gargoyles with nothing left. Hudson is old/mellow enough (and happy that they aren’t the last of their kind) that he wouldn’t mind that much and the trio wouldn’t think in those terms but as the leader of the clan, Goliath is probably not having the best of times.

        The tail events of ‘Desert Fox’ probably aren’t helping his state of mind with the ‘We know who you are, where you live, and if you don’t want to end up as unidentifiable piles of gravel, start talking.’

        Liked by 1 person

      2. /Good news is that the trio aren’t going to be spoiled for potential girlfriends anymore. /

        Now they can be dumped on their own merits!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. /Now they can be dumped on their own merits!/

        By this point in the timeline (and the rate of Gargoyle maturation/aging etc) they’re the equivalent of 18/19 year olds. A certain amount of teenage/young adult stupidity is to be expected when dealing with individuals of the opposite gender.

        Not that different then humans in that sense.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “Fanfic is a way to have fun by getting into more of what you loved about a fandom. To poke all the corners and details the creators might not have had time to flesh out.”

    That’s what I like about your fan fiction. You poke into all the practical details which a number of writers these days don’t usually consider. It’s fun to see the “expansion” of Kabaneri canon, for instance, and go, “Oh, hey, that’s not something I thought of! That makes so much sense!”

    Crossovers today are such a mess that reading yours is eye-opening. You manage to tie two totally different universes together so well that the unification is *believable.* Many authors don’t even bother anymore, throwing franchises together “just because,” that it’s enough to drive a fan insane. I became fed up with the idea primarily because no one I read was doing it right. It’s really fun to read stories written by someone who understands that the mashup *must make sense* in order to be fun for *everyone.* Thanks for the stories – and the fun! 😃

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I need things to make sense when I read them, so I try to make things fit together as neatly as possible when I write fics. 🙂 It’s just so much more fun when you see two canons together and can say, “hey, it’s like a puzzle snapping into place!”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I know this is a weird one, but I feel that RWBY is the far future of Bloodbourne. There is the Hunters,(obviously the Eldritch stuff got watered down), the mechashift precursor Hunter weapons, and the main character fights like a cross between Germann and Eileen mostly! Ruby does have her own style though.

    Blake is mostly Eileen the Crow Hunter, and Yang fits the Powder Kegs, almost eerily so. Weiss also has the Cainhurst vibe early on. Jaune is much like a Church Hunter, and Nora also has some Kirkhammer vibe.


    1. Could work, from what I know of Bloodborne, which, not much.

      Another good one would be SW/Untamed. The only thing currently tripping me up is the core transfer/Core Crushing Hand in general. Not sure how that would work. And I don’t have a bunny for it anyway.


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