1. kateamedeo

    kateamedeo Active Member

    Dec 27, 2015
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    Cornwall, UK

    PoVs advice

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by kateamedeo, Feb 6, 2016.

    I know, I know, there have been more than a zillion questions about PoVs but, please, bear with me :)

    I am working on the second draft of my book and I have been thinking about adding another PoV. The problem is that I am afraid that there will be very few scenes from this secondary PoV compared to the main protagonist's PoV. There are roughly 20-something scenes for the protagonist and only three or four would be from this other perspective.

    Any advice if three scenes from another PoV is too few and should I give it up and just stick with one PoV?
  2. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

    Aug 12, 2015
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    London, UK
    Why do you want to add them? Ad-hoc POV scenes can come off shoe-horned, but they can blend seamlessly into the story. It's usually obvious if they've been put in just because the author needed to info-dump something that the main POV character couldn't know or observe, and those are the ones I don't like. But they can also add tension and interest if handled right.
    TWErvin2, furzepig and BayView like this.
  3. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Sep 6, 2014
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    I'm with @Tenderiser - if the POV would actually add to the reading experience - like, you're building suspense or something--great. But if it's just because you can't figure out another way to share some information, that will usually come across in the writing, and it tends to feel tacked on.
    TWErvin2 likes this.
  4. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Oct 12, 2015
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    On the Road.
    I am with @Tenderiser and @BayView also. If the POV can add, fine, great. If not, scratch. Maybe you could write a 'test'-scene so to speak, look how it fits in with the whole.

    But consider this: If you add this voice you should give it space. Three/Four scenes is not much. For my own writing I wouldn't add a POV if this voice wouldn't come out at least once in each chapter. I hesitated a whole lot of time when adding such a POV in my own WIP for exactly this kind of reason, but it came out right. And this POV grew on me, there is now a whole chapter which is more or less heavily leaning on this POV, with my main protagonist as other POV in opposition.
    If you do it, are warned that you may have to rewrite a major portion of your work. This is not fun :rolleyes:
  5. MelFyre

    MelFyre New Member

    Feb 6, 2016
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    When the PoV changes ( even for a minor period ) of handled right it can really influence my understanding of the characters / setting / story.

    Is this book possibly going to have sequels? And if so will this secondary PoV be available for input then as well ( say a sidekick or close associate to the protagonist )? That could actually play into reader focus and the whole 'show don't tell'.

    Are the scenes for this secondary PoV of sufficient lenght or matter? Is this a three paragraph insert or a substantial piece that I.pacts the storyline?

    All things to consider - not that I was super helpful in firm decision making.
  6. izzybot

    izzybot (unspecified) Contributor

    Jun 3, 2015
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    SC, USA
    With my current wip I struggled for a while with wanting different POVs because I messed up and structured things in such a way that important stuff was happening that the mc wasn't around for. I considered shifting the entire thing from close third to omniscient third just so that POV changes would be less jarring, I considered expanding to two primary POVs, and I had a lot of other bad ideas too, hahah. Ultimately the best thing for me was to reorganize so that we could stay in one character's headspace the entire time. It's easiest to write, it's easier for readers to keep track of (ie not respond to with "why would they write it this way, this is weird"), imo it just makes the project make more sense.

    So my advice would be that if you really want another POV character, commit to it. Give them more scenes, make it closer to equal - it doesn't have to be exact, but having about a fifth of your book in another POV just seems a bit pointless. I restructured the entire rising conflict/climax portion of my wip to avoid it and it's definitely better for it. Your work might be better with two POVs! But if you want two, make it matter.

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