Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Writing from two (or three) points of view

I tried this for the first time with Troubled_Waters and found telling the story from different points of view to be a far more natural fit for me. In fact, putting characters in a shared situation and have them take away completely different experiences was fun and added to the tension.

This time I've got characters living through completely separate experiences with only the bad guys in common. And because I felt the need for one more POV, I've added a third (an already a known character who is outside of the situation).

It's sometimes a strain to keep it all straight. I thought I was doing a better than average job until I scanned back through what I've got so far and discovered that my character's behaviors and responses to stresses weren't as natural as I originally thought. Rather than leave them until the end of the book, I've paused to address them (surprisingly enough a few words can make all the difference). As I'm hovering at around 56,000 words now it's quite the hassle to wander around inside the manuscript. So today I copied all the chapters of one pov into another file so I could get a bead on the flow and address the fixes. I'm hoping this will help with timeline problems as well. I think this was a stroke of genius on my part and I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

The greatest hassle will be putting it all copying and pasting it all back in at the end, but it will certainly read more smoothly.


Big Plain V said...

Sounds complicated. Personally I wouldn't have the brain cells to cope with all that.

Good luck, though.

Mary Paddock said...

Hi Ray--I think this is very much an "each to his own" thing. When I think about it, much of the fiction I enjoy is written from more than one pov. So this is probably why I gravitated to this.

As for writing from more than one POV--it's actually easier and less limiting. Ex. While the first character is fighting the villain off, the second is riding to the rescue. The question adding to the tension is whether the second is going to get there in time to save the first or if the first is going to work our a way to solve the problem themselves.

The only complication I've faced is in remembering which character has what information and making sure they act accordingly.

Big Plain V said...

Hmmm... when you put it that way...