1. Anonymouzz

    Anonymouzz New Member

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    Way To Switch Between Multiple POV

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Anonymouzz, May 9, 2017.

    I have 5 pov character and need help on how to switch between them.
    Before i give my way of doing it, to make things easy to follow and understand im going to label each character a letter: Character 1 = A, Character 2= B, Character 3= C, Character 4= D, Character 5= E

    this post might get confusing, so i will try my best to explain my situation lol

    These are the two methods im struggling between.
    Now the 1st method that i was going to do was:
    A
    B
    C
    D
    E
    Then i was gone start all over (A B C D E). What i like about this method is that im able to tell what everyone is doing at the same time instead of jumping back and forth in time. The problem with this method is by the time im finish writing POV "E", readers would forget or think it takes to long to get back to POV "A".

    The 2nd method i was thinking was:
    A
    B
    A
    B
    C
    B
    D
    A
    I was gone keep switching back and forth between POV, so that the reader wont spend to much time away from one pov. The problem with this method is, from that example above is "Time". I'll be moving back and forth between time. So when one POV character story is moving ahead, another POV character has yet to get there. For Example:
    A - 2:00 pm
    B- 2:00 pm
    A-2:30 pm
    B-2:30 pm
    C- 2:00 pm
    B- 3:00 pm
    D: 2:00 pm
    A- 3:00 pm
    You see how some characters are moving forward in time while other characters has yet to get there. It'll be like some character POV will be taking place during the night and others will still be taking place during the day.

    I know this may seem confusing but if anyone has any input/suggestions, please help me here. I seriously need it.
     
  2. cherrya

    cherrya Active Member

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    Why not just go with whoever's most relevant at this precise moment of the story?

    What I don't like about the first idea is that as soon as I figure out the pattern I'm more likely to procrastinate reading if, let's say, A and B are my favourite characters and C and E are my least favourite. I'll know that I'll have all of these pages to read before we get to them again and it'll appear to me like this one giant mountain that I might not feel like climbing just yet and push back as much as possible even though I really want to get to that specific place.

    I like when it goes with whoever's more important at one specific point in the plot because it makes me feel like the writer knows exactly what they're doing, have a concise plan, and doesn't just stop a plot point for ten chapters because they have to go somewhere else first.

    I don't know if you're familiar with anime or anything like that, but in the end, to me at least, it feels too much like filler arcs. I spend so much time sometimes just wondering "When are we going back to the story yet?" It's one of the reason why I try to avoid multiple POV's as much as possible, and yet one of my favourite books has just that.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
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  3. Ale

    Ale Member

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    I agree with everything cherrya said. As a further suggestion, perhaps check out how GRR Martin handles the order of the bazillions of POVs in ASOIAF.
     
  4. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Are these characters all in different places doing different things, or are they interacting with each other?
     
  5. ddavidv

    ddavidv Senior Member

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    I did mine by shifting each chapter to a different character. Granted, I only had three to work with when I did it but it worked beautifully...and I didn't bring the third character's POV in until halfway through the book because he wasn't really needed until then.

    This method worked well for The Girl On The Train also.

    That is a lot of characters to move around between and I worry that it might be confusing to the reader.
     
  6. rktho

    rktho Contributor Contributor

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    My multiple POVs never jump back in time (at least, not in the narration... heh heh, spoilers)
     
  7. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    To make a suggestion I'd need to know more about why you need the POV shifts and, as @BayView asked, whether they're all in separate places or together.
     
  8. malaupp

    malaupp Active Member

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    Really the only reason to tell the same story from different points of view is if there's something specifically different about each one. Like one character thought another was angry, but when you switch the POV, you find they just had a rock in their shoe they couldn't get rid of. But if there's nothing that would specifically make it different, pick only the specific person needed.

    Otherwise, anything I would add has already been said.
     
  9. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    There can be major POV characters (the ones who carry the bulk of the story) and there can also be minor ones, whose point of view is important at times. As to a formula? Well, I wouldn't mind if you used one, but I think I'd rather not notice. Unless, of course, knowing that each person's POV is going to get time in the story is important TO the story.

    Basically, I wouldn't over-think this. Or over-complicate it. Just make a decision in each chapter or scene. Which character's insight is the most important here? And go with it.

    I would only caution against too much repetition of events from different characters' perspectives. Why? Well, I had a beta reader of mine point out that he 'already knew what happened' and didn't want to read the event again from a different POV. It made me re-think my POV in two different chapters of my story, and instead of using two POVs to analyze the same event, I picked the one that most mattered and went with it. I think it works a lot better that way.
     
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  10. ChaseTheSun

    ChaseTheSun Senior Member

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    Don't think too much about the specific structure. Just think about how you can express the most impactful event in the most impactful way, and then write it through whichever POV will capture that the most impactfully effectively.

    So basically just what @jannert said
     
  11. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    This sounds like it might be an exercise in head-hopping. I used multiple POVs, probably dozens, but only when there was a scene change that made whoever had the first POV irrelevant.

    But in any event, just write your story, then sort it out in the edit phase.
     
  12. Anonymouzz

    Anonymouzz New Member

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    different places doing different things at the same time...... they POV will intersect throughout the novel.
     
  13. Anonymouzz

    Anonymouzz New Member

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    Its a contemporary novel and it tells the story of 5 students that attend the same high school and them dealing with everyday high school drama and problems at home.
     
  14. Anonymouzz

    Anonymouzz New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the input...

    i want to give you guys a little more information

    All the characters are in different places at the same time. So therefore, i use scene breaks to switch between the POV characters. I spend a good amount of time in each character scene and then leave the scene on a little cliffhanger and switch to another character POV scene thats taking place at the same time. And i keep doing this until the characters POV intersect and i tell the scene the characters share together from the most important POV.
     
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  15. rktho

    rktho Contributor Contributor

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    The important thing is whether or not important things happen at the exact same time. If you can spare a few minutes away from someone, that's a good way to do it. For example, in Star Wars, the perspective changes from Threepio and Artoo to Leia and back. We don't get to see Leia's journey to the Death Star, but we know she went there and the gist of what went on. When Artoo gets captured by Jawas, we don't see Threepio get captured (but earlier, we did see him attempt to attract the attention of a sandcrawler, so we can piece together what happened when the two meet up again.) Then it switches to Luke's perspective, and we never saw what Luke was doing when the whole Star Destroyer chase in the beginning was going on, etc. If something absolutely has to happen simultaneously, make it clear that's the case. But try to avoid constant simultaneous writing. It's not easy to pull off without having your characters get bored. Though there are authors who manage to do it well.
     
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  16. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Great example.
     
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