Viewpoint and Dialogue by Joyce Moyer Hostetter

In my book, Drive, Ida and Ellie Honeycutt are forced by difficult circumstances to step out of their natural roles. As identical twins, they see and experience the world differently but are so emotionally connected that they easily understand the other’s viewpoint. At one point Ida, the homebody, feels forced to take a trip that her adventurous twin had dreamed of making. Neither girl is happy about the unfortunate change of plans but their love enables each of them to sacrifice for the other. Ellie narrates the following.


I told Ida to go on the trip.  It was the hardest thing I’d ever done… “I want you to go.”

         “You’re lying,” said Ida. “I see it all over you. Look, you’re trembling. And your nostrils are flared the way they do when you’re not telling the truth.”

I couldn’t pretend anymore. I wanted to just break down and cry and tell her to save the money for me and maybe I could travel with it later. And I was crying. I could feel the tears building. I couldn’t hold them back. I wiped at my cheeks with the palms of my hands. “Okay so I’m lying. Are you satisfied? I really want to take the trip. I do. But I can’t. And Daddy needs someone to go with him. And that someone is you.”

Ida squeezed her eyes shut, but the tears leaked out. I knew she felt guilty for getting this. The trip and Arnie both. It was too much for her to take from me.

         I couldn’t let up though. “No one else can experience it for me the way you can!” 

As the author, I could have written Drive from only one of the twins’ viewpoints. However, I loved them both and wanted each to have a voice – a chance to tell the story from her own perspective. I wanted the reader to pull for both of the twins, even when they were at odds with each other. Writing their stories in alternating chapters pushed me to find their unique personalities, speech patterns, and responses to life.

In September, when I teach Write2Ignite’s Fiction Writing Master Class, we’ll delve into the topic of choosing viewpoint characters and how a chosen character influences the storytelling. We’ll also look at creating compelling dialogue, ways that dialogue is tied to viewpoint, and how to use speech to illustrate unique personalities.

Every story needs a narrator. Finding the one with the right voice for your particular story can make all the difference!


Our teen reviewer, Kathryn Dover, has been reviewing the Bakers Mountain series, written by Joyce. If you missed the reviews, here they are Aim and Blue. Watch for Kathryn’s review and our giveaway of Comfort next!

The Write2Ignite early bird special is over on August 1.  What are you waiting for? You don’t want to miss Joyce’s Master Fiction Writing Class. And one fortunate attendee will receive ALL FOUR books!!


Joyce Moyer Hostetter lives in Hickory, North Carolina, where she enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. Before she wrote historical novels, Joyce taught special education, worked in a camp for at-risk children and directed a preschool program. She also wrote Christian curricula, magazine articles, and a newspaper column & feature stories. Her novels have won an International Reading Association Children’s Book Award, Parents’ Choice Honor Awards, and a North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award. Her books include Healing Water: An Hawaiian Story about a teen boy’s survival in Hawaii’s leprosy settlement and the Bakers Mountain Stories series: AimBlueComfort, and Drive. Equal, the fifth book in the series will be released in Spring, 2021.

4 thoughts on “Viewpoint and Dialogue by Joyce Moyer Hostetter

  1. Thanks for this, Joyce! Is the class being held on campus or Zoom? And is it $75 regardless? Will it be recorded for replay? So many questions! I’ve heard you are an excellent mentor, so I’m interested in participating if I can.

    1. Jarm, we’re seriously considering making the master class virtual. Stay tuned–it’ll be a reasonable price and yes, it will be recorded for replay. I hope to “see” you there!

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