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Old 11-29-2012, 04:03 AM   #1
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Two POVS

So: one male POV character, one female POV character. A tough sell? Tough to write? Should it be avoided?
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:15 AM   #2
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Not a big difference than two male POVs or two female POVs, really. And probably more common in YA.
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:31 AM   #3
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I don't think there's any reason this wouldn't work as long as readers can easily differentiate between the POVs.
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:53 AM   #4
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Wouldn't bother me. As long as they're written well I don't care which gender POVs are used.
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:57 AM   #5
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Simone Elkeles does this a lot, I think. Definitely not out of the question.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:19 AM   #6
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Legend by Marie Lu did it quite successfully. I think it's fun, particularly if there's a romance between them and you get both perspectives. :p
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:14 AM   #7
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The first thing that came to mind was Simone Elkeles too. Check out Perfect Chemistry. She does a great job with that one. Also, The Shiver series by Maggie Stiefvater has a m/f POV and in the third book in the series she has 2 male povs and 2 females. It's really pretty awesome. Also, Melvin Burgess' SMACK does a wonderful f/m pov
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:20 AM   #8
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Cath Crowley's fantastic GRAFFITI MOON has a m/f POV.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:12 AM   #9
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If I can do it, anyone should be able to, lol.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:00 AM   #10
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Oh yeah, that's pretty common from what I've read. I think the only foible here is that if you have both a male and female POV, there often ends up being a romance between them. You might end up working against expectations if you didn't have a romance. Just something to consider.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:23 AM   #11
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As long as both are written in third person, I don't see a problem with it. If you do both in first person, you have to do a very good job of making them distinct so that you don't confuse the reader.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:41 AM   #12
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It's been done. Jenny Valentine did this in The Ant Colony. Patrick Ness also did in the second and third volumes of his Chaos Walking trilogy. Both of these are in first person. <i>Chaos Walking</i> has one narrator for the first volume, two for the second and three in the third (the third narrator being an alien character). It's fairly easy to tell them apart, even without the fact that the publisher in my copies set each narrator's text in a different font.

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I think the only foible here is that if you have both a male and female POV, there often ends up being a romance between them. You might end up working against expectations if you didn't have a romance. Just something to consider.
I don't think that necessarily follows. In The Ant Colony he's later teens and she's ten, so if a reader expects a romance there then she's in for a disappointment to say the least!
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:30 PM   #13
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It's fine. Beth Revis did/is doing it in her Across the Universe triology (just to add to the list.)
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:40 PM   #14
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Totally doable and sellable. My debut does this, though in third person. I think the only issues you'll run into are the ones you'd run into with any combination of multiple PoVs.

That said, a friend of mine went on sub with a dual PoV M/F book and got an R&R to take out the male perspective to make it more the female character's story. (And yes, thankfully, the publisher did end up buying it!) I've also seen agents mention getting a lot of these subs, so make sure that it's really necessary to the story.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:13 PM   #15
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Sarra Manning did 1st person m/f dual POV in ADORKABLE, and did it really well.

I know I had a lot more fun writing my m/f dual POV novel than my single POV - you get a bit sick of it when it's the same perspective the whole time (although that might just be my crap character building skills lol)
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:48 AM   #16
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Noughts and Crosses does this brilliantly and never loses its tension.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:23 AM   #17
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I do in my book. Well, sort of. *evasive*

Second the Shiver series. I think she does it in Scorpio Races as well. And the Philip Pullman books do this as well, when they start flipping between Will & Lyra's stories, right? In third person, though.

When it's done well I love it. So cute to get both sides of a burgeoning romance, for instance.
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:20 AM   #18
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Quote:
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I do in my book. Well, sort of. *evasive*
Cryptic much? I can't wait to read this.

I have male/female POVs in my WIP, too. I really enjoyed writing them.

The Ghost and the Goth series is another example.
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:39 AM   #19
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Quote:
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I do in my book. Well, sort of. *evasive*

Second the Shiver series. I think she does it in Scorpio Races as well. And the Philip Pullman books do this as well, when they start flipping between Will & Lyra's stories, right? In third person, though.

When it's done well I love it. So cute to get both sides of a burgeoning romance, for instance.
Oh yeah, Shiver! Love those books. Me and my flatmate have just got the box set of TEEN WOLF season 1, and I keep thinking, Maggie Stiefvater's wolves are better!
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I find it really interesting how dual POV lets you explore self-perception vs how others see you - like the hot jock who gets all the girls and sleeps around because they're all throwing themselves at him, is actually sleeping around because he's confused about his sexuality, or has low self esteem or whatever.

My dual-POV novel has a POV character who is totally breaking down, a total mess, hallucinating, etc - so much inner turmoil, but because he's good at hiding it at the beginning, the other POV character doesn't see what's really going on with him. Later on, as he gets worse at hiding how fragile his mental state is, and gets worse, only then does other POV see what the readers have been seeing from the start.

But tbh, the book is probably as much of a mess as the character!!


ETA: what is a real risk but sometimes really works in books is parent/child POVs. It shouldn't, but dad Ken's POV in PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ and dad Cal's POV in ORDINARY PEOPLE definitely add to the novels. It doesn't work most of the time though, IMO.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:30 PM   #20
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My current manuscript does exactly this. It seems to be working for me so far...fingers crossed. I quite like the way it allows for exploration of how a male character perceives events as opposed to a female.

As a teacher I studied Cath Crowley's "The Life and Times if Gracie Faltrain." with my year 9 class. The students really enjoyed it... there was something for the boys to relate to and something for the girls. Actually the girls don't seem to care whose POV it is....boys on the other hand in general are fussy little rascals. I have taught lots of boys who refuse to go near "Twilight" for this very reason.

I say go for it.....automatically double your audience...I'm willing to try it.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:42 PM   #21
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I say go for it! Sounds perfectly fine to me.

Last book I read where there were two genders POVs was in Legend by Marie Lu, but they were both in 1st person, that got kind of confusing though.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:13 PM   #22
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I'm doing this in my current WIP too. I don't like that people will assume that they are going to get together just because they're the main characters. It's not going to happen, they have more of a sibling relationship. Oh well. :P
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:07 AM   #23
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I thought about this some more last night after I logged off. When I taught Cath Crowley's "Gracie Faltrain" I did notice that some students struggled a bit with the switching narration in the beginning. This was mostly the less enthusiastic readers (the ones who may not have read the book on their own anyway). It did not take long for them to adjust to it though....and I recall that a lot of them found this device kept the story "fresh".

I guess avid readers tend to be quite adaptable but unenthusiastic readers can be "put off" fairly easily....then again they always seem to give me bucketloads of reasons for not reading period!

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Old 12-03-2012, 03:54 AM   #24
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I'm planning on writing the split POV for my next book in a series I'm working on. I think as long as the two characters have a distinct voice - regardless of gender or point of view (1st, 3rd, etc.) - it should work out well. It's interesting and it allows you to follow the stories of multiple characters whose stories are intertwined but may be living their lives separately. I don't know if this has been mentioned but Ally Condie's Reached handles the multiple POV task well. There are three characters that the book bounces between, and the voices are so distinctive I can instantly tell who is talking, even before I read the chapter heading of the character's name.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:56 AM   #25
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Quote:
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I'm doing this in my current WIP too. I don't like that people will assume that they are going to get together just because they're the main characters. It's not going to happen, they have more of a sibling relationship. Oh well. :P
I'm actually a big sucker for meaningful but strictly platonic relationships between male/female characters (I don't come across it often enough these days, sadly) so that intrigues me. But unless they're blood-related, readers are going to hold out hope that they'll get together anyway--but that's half the fun of being the author, isn't it? They're *your* characters. Readers are just going to have to suck it up
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