A selection of novels by Robert Pimm

Writing novels: point of view. My thriller “Blood Summit” shows how to do it

Leigh Turner
Leigh Turner

When writing novels, point of view is crucial.  Chapters 1 and 2 of my Berlin thriller “Blood Summit” illustrate how you can do this.

Chapter 2 of my Berlin thriller Blood Summit introduces a new Point of View (POV).  Get to know Uli Wenger, the mastermind behind the plot to seize the Reichstag.  What drives him?  Why does he detonate a bomb outside the British Embassy in Berlin?  Now, you get a chance to decide.

In the course of reading, you can also study a key element of writing novels: point of view.

Some readers may find a switch of point of view challenging.  But it allows the author to take the reader inside someone else’s head; and to show a single scene from different viewpoints.  See how I do this by comparing Chapter 2, below, with Chapter 1 of the book.  Or you can read all the excerpts published on this blog together at my new Blood Summit page.

The Berlin thriller Blood Summit is available on Amazon.

I have worked long and hard on Blood Summit, both to write the novel (a big job) and to prepare it for publication.  I hope you enjoy it, and that you find the writing techniques described here helpful.  Feel free to spread the word.

Writing novels point of view: Blood Summit

Blood Summit: the cover

Here is the text of Chapter 2.  It shows how to introduce a new point of view in writing novels.

“Blood Summit” Chapter 2

It was not accident but design which made Uli Wenger so hard to see. His disguise was brilliant. Only one person in the crowd could recognise him. She would never tell a soul.

More marchers were appearing. The merciless punctuality made planning easy. Uli was in control. In thirty-six hours, he would hold a knife to the throat of the world. A few hours after that, the world would embrace him as its saviour.

Two minutes to go. Uli turned in his pocket the old D-mark coin Gustav had given him. The big man believed the euro currency had debased the fatherland. Uli was indifferent to Germany and the D-mark, but he’d taken the coin. Gustav and Martha were the most reliable killers in his Chaos Team.

He heard a crack of thunder and rain began to fall. Uli stood at the corner of Unter den Linden and waited. He must have line of sight. The demonstrators filled the road, trudging like a column of ants through the indifferent city. Flanking the procession, a handful of policemen sweltered in rain capes. The protesters carried banners: Uli saw something about unemployment. The US President in a sandpit with a missile in each hand. People hated the Americans because they seemed powerful. But sometimes power bred weakness. It only took one man to change history.

Suddenly a squad of trouble-makers in combat boots, their faces masked, started prising up the fist-sized cobblestones which made Berlin a rioter’s dream. Uli’s eyes narrowed. This was not part of the plan. If the police stepped in, the demonstration might be disrupted. Where was she? He scanned the crowd as the first stones flew towards the British embassy.

There. The trim figure looked out of place in the sullen mob. Her back was straight, her gaze fierce. And she was meant to be invisible. Uli cursed silently. He had thought she could work with him. He had been wrong. If any more proof were needed, this botched surveillance was it. Now to turn a problem into a solution.

The day-bag on the woman’s shoulder was fitted with a pinhole-lens video surveillance camera and two spare batteries weighing six hundred and fifty grams in total. It also contained, Uli knew, a half-litre bottle of Evian water which, when full, had weighed a further five hundred grams. By contrast, the military-grade C4 plastic explosive and radio-controlled detonator sewn into the lining of the bag weighed less than one hundred grams in total. It was a tiny bomb, but more than adequate to do the job. It lay directly against the target’s upper body.

At that moment, the woman saw him. She looked puzzled. Now was the time. It would be better if she were closer to the embassy. But that was a secondary objective. Uli put his other hand in his pocket, closed the contact, and stepped around the corner into Pariser Platz.

The sound of the explosion in the narrow street was immense. A long moment of silence followed. Then the screaming started.

Uli Wenger had just killed two birds with one stone.

[Excerpt ends]

I hope you have enjoyed this post on how to use point of view in writing novels.  Chapter 1 of “Blood Summit” is seen from the Point of View of Helen Gale, the protagonist of the thriller.  So is Chapter 3 of “Blood Summit”.  Chapter 4 of Blood Summit introduces a third Point of View.  Altogether the novel has four POVs, but the fourth is not introduced until a little later.

P.S. If you would like to hear more about Blood Summit or if you enjoy fresh, original writing, you can follow me on Facebook or sign up for my weekly newsletter (you can unsubscribe anytime you wish).


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