1. jlauren
    Offline

    jlauren Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Queensland, AUSTRALIA

    Struggle with POV (two characters)

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by jlauren, Nov 28, 2009.

    QUESTION -

    I'm right in the middle of writing and I'm annoyed at something. The story I'm working on at the moment is written from the POV of my male MC and female MC. It alternates between their stories and for major events involving both of them, it's told from both perspectives.

    But here's where I'm struggling: Should I write the story as I want it to flow (switching between them constantly) or should I write their stories seperately and merge them later? I'm just finding that switching between the two is messing with my focus...I end up having to go back and re-read the last thing I wrote about them to get back into their groove.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,352
    Likes Received:
    2,896
    Location:
    Boston
    Go with whatever you feel more comfortable doing. If you find yourself struggling with one thing, chances are the quality of writing is going to suffer if you keep trying to force it.
     
  3. TimAyro
    Offline

    TimAyro Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Moving to LA
    I think if I was reading it going back and forth it would get confusing. Maybe not if one chapter was devoted to one person, the next chapter to another.

    Like Dan Brown does, he'll have one story going on in one chapter in one country, and the next chapter, something else going on in a different country and eventually merges them together.
     
  4. Kas
    Offline

    Kas Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    The ***hole of the world
    A lot of writers do that. It's a very common approach. I agree that constantly switching within one chapter would probably be a bit much. I don't think I'd like it.
     
  5. TimAyro
    Offline

    TimAyro Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Moving to LA
    Weird, I rarely see that. I must be reading all the wrong stuff! =P
     
  6. Phantasmal Reality
    Offline

    Phantasmal Reality Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    I assume you're POV is third person limited? If you really want to switch back and forth between their versions without it feeling awkward, consider switching to third person omniscient. You'll probably trade a little intimacy with both characters, but you'll greatly shorten your story while handling the "two viewpoint" problem in the most natural way possible. I recommend at least writing a version of one scene from third person omniscient and seeing how it feels. The choice is yours from there. :)
     
  7. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Switching between POVs is best done on chapter boundaries, or at least on scene boundaries.

    Be aware of your POV transitions, and make sure they are well managed. That mjeans transitions that aren't too abrupt, but that make it clear that the viewpoint has changed. It takes practice.
     
  8. architectus
    Offline

    architectus Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,796
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Ca
    I would alternate between chapters so that the reader gets into a groove.
     
  9. marcusl
    Offline

    marcusl Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can understand switching between two POVs could put the writer off. Unfortunately, I don't have any suggestions for that. I don't think it'll distract the reader, though. Like architectus said, so long as there's a rhythm, readers will get used to it. Heaps of novels are written in this style.
     

Share This Page