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  1. jmh105

    jmh105 Member

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    Plot summary for book with two POVS?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by jmh105, May 19, 2017 at 12:10 AM.

    Hey, everyone,

    My project will be written from the point of view of two separate characters, whose plotlines converge and separate in a way that measures character development of one character against the other. They both live in the same place, but their perspectives often take them elsewhere until they meet again in a significant way.

    Is there any special way to write a plot summary that incorporates both characters while making it clear that the story will be told through both of their perspectives in separate chapters?

    I am looking for more of a general answer because I don't have anything clearly set-in-stone for my story. There are so many kinks to work out, so I feel like I will benefit the most from guidance that could fit any novel with the two-person structure I proposed. Even so, if you guys need more clarity or specifics to answer this question, let me know and I will try my best. :D

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Active Member

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    Not really, no. The summary is the same no matter the number of POVs. You just summarize whatever is relevant for plot and characters. Bing bing boom...
     
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  3. Teresa Mendes

    Teresa Mendes Member

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    jmh105 likes this.
  4. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    When you say "summary" what do you mean? A synopsis for an agent or publisher? A blurb for the back cover? A longer blurb to put on Amazon and other websites?
     
  5. jmh105

    jmh105 Member

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    Thanks for your advice, everyone!

    I am thinking more of a blurb to the back cover or whatever people see when looking up the book. Teresa Mendes posted a link to what I had in mind. :)
     
  6. jannert

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Are you making a heavy weather journey over the fact that you have two POV characters, @jmh105 ? That's not unusual at all. In fact, many books have more than two POV characters. I wouldn't worry about it at this stage. Just get your story written. Then, after you've finished, look at what you've got and decide how best to summarise it. Perhaps something along the lines of "Mary wants (this) to happen, but Paul wants (something else instead.) Can they both get what they want, and still manage to stay married?"

    I would caution you to be careful on one particular point, though. Be cautious about showing the same events through the eyes of two different characters. I discovered (having done this myself) that readers can get bored living through an event a second time, from the POV of a different character. I know it sounds appealing (two different perspectives, right?) but apparently it doesn't work all that well in practice. The reader can get annoyed, because they realise 'hey, I already know what happens here.'

    It might be a better idea to have one character simply reference or react to something that happened, without re-running the actual event in 'real time.' That way you can create a different perspective and get the second character's opinion of the event and the other character, without putting the reader through the same event twice.
     
  7. Micheal

    Micheal New Member

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    Try to avoid keeping going over the same situation, from different characters point of view, going back repeating what has happened with a different character, is okay once or twice.. but try to push the story along by jumping from one character to another, a few paragraphs or page from one person, side of the situation.. then next page, or a few paragraphs continue the situation from the other character, so the reader knows what is going on, seeing a progress of the situation, but seeing the point of view from different sides at the same time.
     
  8. Robert Musil

    Robert Musil Contributing Member

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    Ok, this is one I've not heard before. From context I take it to mean...deliberating over? worrying about? Perhaps "making a big deal of"?
     
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  9. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    To give another opinion, I recently read a book that took this approach (flipped between POV characters every few paragraphs in the same scene) and it didn't work for me at all. I couldn't relax and get into the story because I was being pulled around constantly.

    My preference as a reader and writer is to stay with the same character for an entire 'event' unless there's a really good reason to jump around.
     
  10. jannert

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Ha ha! Making a big deal of ...kind of, but not exactly. A big deal implies you're exaggerating something. Making heavy weather means you're making something more difficult than it needs to be.
     
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  11. Jupie

    Jupie Active Member

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    I think I'd be one of those readers unfortunately. I love seeing two POV's closely linked but probably don't want to see the same scene twice unless it's done very cleverly or there's a twist or the shake up in the chronology of the narrative makes a second go around necessary. Otherwise I want to know what both characters are thinking even if it's only narrated from one perspective. I mean it might not be there in black or white but hopefully we see by their reactions, expressions or exchanges that they feel this way or that they are different because of this. Then later when we return to their point of view we can get more insight about them later down the line.
     
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  12. Minty Talons

    Minty Talons Member

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    No need to specify that's it's from multiple POVs just be sure to mention both POV characters in the summary.
     

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