Author Topic: A POV question?  (Read 808 times)

Offline Kendo

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A POV question?
« on: June 04, 2009, 08:43:06 PM »
I'll try to explain this the best way I can.

In the plot to my novel, I'm thinking of having three people starting off in different places, all with a different ways of life. Utimately they all come together for the final conflict.
I know within their own chapters, each of the individuals has POV. My question is, how do you deal with POV when they all come together in the same chapter?

I hope that's not too confusing.   ???

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: A POV question?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2009, 09:28:44 PM »
Kendo, I can only tell you how I do it. Others may have different methods of dealing with this question.

When I have more than one POV in the same chapter, I try to keep each one in their own section - one or more paragraph (depending on how much is needed) and separate each POV section with an extra space between the previous and the following sections.

Hope this helps.
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Offline Annmarie

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Re: A POV question?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2009, 03:19:25 AM »
The best POV tip I ever got I'm passing onto you for free  ;):

In every scene/chapter, the POV belongs to the character with the most at stake. There are exceptions if you write in first person as a witness to events, but in 3rd person, this advice is gold.

Now, when you have multiple POVs over the course of a book and they show up in the same scene or chap, what do you do? Again, ask yourself, who has the most at stake in this scene? In the final conflict, they should all have a lot at stake. You can choose to shift POVs during the crisis, which is tricky, or you choose one POV - the top one, the one who is the heart and soul of the book -- and go with that one.

A novel I'm editing right now also has 3 POVs that start off in the same city but with different plot threads that interweave more and more intensely as the book moves on. Each POV gets his or her own chapter, and in my mind, they are hierarchical, i.e. Character A is slightly more important than Character B etc. I opened the book with Character A's plot. The final conflict is also from Character A's POV though Character C is also there as the antagonist. If you have trouble deciding who is your most important POV character, ask yourself --- How do I open the book? Whose POV is it? Why did I choose this? If you open the book with the most compelling character and situation (which you should), you can't go wrong by centering the final crisis on that character too no matter who else is there.
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Offline ma100

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Re: A POV question?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2009, 03:35:29 AM »
Good advice Annmarie.  :)

Offline flights_of_fantasy

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Re: A POV question?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2009, 03:36:56 AM »
Hi Kendo,

When you have all three characters in a scene together, I would use whichever POV moves the story forward or best gets across that part of the plot. You might have an occasion where one of the character's thoughts are more important than the other two, in which case you can use their POV. Alternatively, there might be a time where you'd like to hide the thoughts of a character from the readers - to increase suspense or create mystery, so you'd use a different character.

Otherwise, just give them 'screen time' equal to their importance in the story.

If you're writing in limited POV with a group of characters, sometimes a scene doesn't work as well as you hoped it would. On those occasions, try writing it from a different POV, even if you don't intend for that POV to be seen in the book. Just knowing what your other characters are thinking can help create the scene.

(since I started writing this Annmarie posted her advice, which I also completely agree with)

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Offline Kendo

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Re: A POV question?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2009, 05:10:41 AM »
Thank you all very much, it makes more sense to me now. 

I only had the first and last chapter clear in my head, the rest was very sketchy. With all your sound advice I can hopefully fill in the blanks.