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Thread: Going crazy with POVs!

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW gell214's Avatar
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    Going crazy with POVs!

    So in my current WIP, I just write and write and write... And when I went back to read it, I noticed that I had a few chapters where I used two POVs. I tried to edit but I'm just going crazy here.

    What if, in just one chapter, I really need to show two POVs? What to do........
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  2. #2
    The Crazy Man in the Sun. Feel me. WillSauger's Avatar
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    Wrote two POVs... yeah, I have no idea what you mean.

    Did you switch narrators mid chapter? On purpose, or did it just slide over my mistake?

    What's your problem with having multiple POVs? (Unless you did the switch in 1st... which... I just don't understand how that can occur...)
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  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW gell214's Avatar
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    Oh hi Will, thanks for that joke BTW, had me scared for a while. I thought hung over Santa would not give me any gifts this Christmas :p.

    Anyhoo...

    Okay. So in one chapter, I have two of my MCs talking. I have to show my FMCs thoughts as well as my MMCs thoughts. But I've read that switching POVs gets confusing for the readers. So, you know... now I'm confused too :|.
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  4. #4
    That hairy-handed gent
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    First, POV choice should never be an accident.

    Second, before you go crazy with multiple POVs, learn how to tell a story with a single well-controlled narrative point-of-view. You have to be able to control one POV before you can control multiple ones.

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  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW
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    When I write with more than one POV, I choose which individual character's POV is best for each chapter. Only changing POV when a new chapter begins x

  6. #6
    Let's see what's on special today.. Bufty's Avatar
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    As mentioned by Blacbird, you don't have to use both POV's in order to convey the reactions/emotions of both characters. Readers are not dumb.


    You have to grasp how to use POV effectively.
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  7. #7
    ~~~~*~~~~ backslashbaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gell214 View Post
    Oh hi Will, thanks for that joke BTW, had me scared for a while. I thought hung over Santa would not give me any gifts this Christmas :p.

    Anyhoo...

    Okay. So in one chapter, I have two of my MCs talking. I have to show my FMCs thoughts as well as my MMCs thoughts. But I've read that switching POVs gets confusing for the readers. So, you know... now I'm confused too :|.
    Most novels don't show the thoughts of more than one character unless there is a scene break or new chapter. The PoV that can show more characters' thoughts more often is omniscient PoV. Even in omni, the author needs to be careful about doing it too much or not smoothly, etc.

    Omni is a difficult PoV to write. I like writing in it, but it doesn't do the trick for many readers, and you really have to have familiarity with reading it as an author using it.

    The alternative is called Limited 3rd (or 1st, of course ). The 'limited' part means that you can't tell the thoughts of anyone but the PoV character in that scene. You can't tell knowledge that the character couldn't have, either. So if someone is doing something the character can't see, you can't even describe that.

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  8. #8
    Angel Wing Fetish VoireyLinger's Avatar
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    Why do you 'need' two POVs? Is it because both characters have something unique to convey that they cannot share with each other, something the reader needs to know right at that exact moment, and it crucial to the plot? If not, you most likely don't 'need' it so much as find it easier.

    If I do find that I do need to have more than one POV in a single scene, I write the first for as long as possible, then do a single POV change and finish it in the second. I've only had to do this once. in all other cases I put the POV change at a chapter break.

  9. #9
    I aim to misbehave Myrealana's Avatar
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    I would probably not be able to get into reading a book that changed POV within scenes.

    I have read many books where two characters share a scene and each gets something important out of it. You tell it the scene as it happens from one character's POV - the most important character in that situation. Then, maybe the next scene, or the next chapter, you summarize from the other character's viewpoint the essential information that the other one didn't or couldn't know.
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  10. #10
    Tell it like it Is Susan Littlefield's Avatar
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    There are no rules on how many POV's you can use. You just want them to be separated by section or chapter and you want your writing to be clear.
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  11. #11
    Warthog, skin is already thick. boozysassmouth's Avatar
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    You might want to think about using 3rd Person Omniscient, in which you aren't in anyone's head in particular. You see, hear, and feel everything.

    I use 3rd Person Limited most of the time, and will be using in my current WIP. I will got back and forth between the two protagonists, because neither is present for every moment of the story. I keep to one head per scene, and clearly delineate between scenes. Check out a few books where the authors break between scenes to see how they do it (just a space, a character, etc.).

    You could try rummaging through your bookcase and seeing which POVs your favorite authors use and how they use them, before deciding what you want to do for yours.

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW gell214's Avatar
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    I don't think 3rd omni would work since there are only a few chapters where I need to use two POVs at once.

    Some of you guys suggested a scene or chapter break. I will see which of those two would fit better for the story.

    I'm also going to employ what VoireyLinger said:

    write the first for as long as possible, then do a single POV change and finish it in the second
    .

    Thanks for all the input guys.
    This POV thing, really...
    Through your dreams, my sleeping children, you had a passenger and you never knew. -Neil Gaiman

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