1. XtremeOne1
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    XtremeOne1 New Member

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    PoV and Chapters

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by XtremeOne1, Oct 22, 2013.

    I'm writing a novel where there are two main characters. As of the first four chapters, it's been a back and forth between the two, but now that I've arrived at the fifth chapter, it fits best to stick with the same PoV of the fourth. Honestly, if the 5th chapter is short enough, I could probably include it in chapter four, but I imagine coming into this problem a lot, where the plot just fits better to continue from the PoV of the previous chapter.

    Another thing I've been thinking about doing is having four "interlude" chapters from other main character PoVs. It's not a certainty by any means, but as a reader, what that bother you.

    It's a supernatural drama, so basically the interlude would be titled "The Witch" "The Wolf" "The Demon" etc...And it only happens once for each. Does that feel like a cheat?
     
  2. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    This sounds more like a planning problem. If you think it's best to stick with the point of view from the previous chapter, then I imagine the two characters are in the same place? If they aren't, try reading some books that have different points of view to get an idea how they manage them. Some have continuity, time-wise:

    Just using hours as an example, the time that passes in chapters does not have to be linear like this.

    Hour 1 POV 1
    Hour 2 POV 2
    Hour 3 POV 1
    Hour 4 POV 2

    Others have chapters that take place at the same time (I find this more exciting, especially with a healthy dose of cliffhangers):

    Hour 1 POV 1
    Hour 1 POV 2
    Hour 2 POV 1
    Hour 2 POV 2

    I'm going to assume you meant for the plural to be on 'character,' not 'POV' How many main characters can a book have? I like to just call them 'characters', or 'major/minor characters.' If the interlude is interesting, and clear who the character is, it won't bother anyone.

    I found it a little hard to understand your post. If that's how your going to write your book, I'd recommend getting a text-to-speech program, or just reading the paragraphs out-loud to see if they make sense.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'm unclear what you are asking. You have one POV in odd numbered chapters and one POV that is essentially even numbered chapters and you wonder if you can switch it up?

    I don't see why not.
     
  4. XtremeOne1
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    XtremeOne1 New Member

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    You've got it Ginger. I just was wondering if it made sense in terms of "readability". Honestly, it's probably just me being obsessive compulsive about the order of the PoVs. I know some readers like a set structure and rhythm with their POVs, but I'm more for what works best for the story. As long as the pacing feels right..

    I'm sorry that my post was so scattered. I was in the middle of How I Met Your Mother and I really got zero sleep last night, so my mind was all over the place. Didn't mean to sound like such a rambling mess.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    No worries, we all ramble from time to time. Apparently I did know what you were asking.

    As long as it's clear to the reader whose POV you are in, and unless there is something particular to the back and forth cadence, I don't think readers will even notice.
     
  6. Tara
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    Tara Contributing Member

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    As longs as you mention the PoV at the beginning of the chapter I don't see why there would be a problem.
     
  7. XtremeOne1
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    XtremeOne1 New Member

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    The narrative is actually in third person limit(for now, I've been debating with myself if I want to keep it that way). I think I do a good job in showing who the limited view is from without the header as I use terms like 'his sister'/'her aunt'. I might go back and add a chapter header once all is said and done, especially if I change the narrative to first person.
     
  8. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    Readability is a function of how you construct the scenes and how they interrelate. There is no requirement that you keep to a given order or length with a scene protagonist. A chapter is as long as a chapter wants to be, and that's not necessarily related to scene endings. If you need three chapters to build that part of the story it take three chapters.

    Edgar Rice Burroughs had a simple formula that made him a lot of money. He would take a group f people and place them in terrible danger, from which there was no escape. He would leave them there, about to die, and tell about another group of people, and do the same thing to them. After abandoning them he would go back to the first group, rescue them, and screw them a second time, before going to group two and repeating the sequence. Readers loved it.

    But: if you're switching POV so the reader will know all sides of the story, stop. The reader doesn't care. They're not trying to know your characters. They aren't looking to know the plot in detail, they're looking for the adventure. They want to become the character and experience the story moment-to-moment as the danger steadily grows while the options just as steadily narrow. They're heading toward that "oh shit" moment where it's all or nothing, with it looking like nothing is the outcome. They feed on that "Shazam!" moment when the protagonist reaches deep inside and makes the ultimate effort, and then wins, while trumpets blare and we know our team just took the championship.

    If, on the other hand, your characters are each working on a different project, themselves heading for that final moment, with the stories related; if the tension of the story steadily grows, chapter by chapter, go for it.
     
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