View Full Version : Question on method

09-20-2009, 11:39 AM
Hey all,

I'm writing a new novel finally. I've got my outline and background all filled in and am now in the process of putting it together.

The thing is, I'm going to be writing from three sets of characters POV - three groups of characters who slowly but surely become one group, but how they get there is half the book.

Now, do I write each seperate chunk first and then sprinkle them together later, or keep jumping back and forth?

I'm finding it hard to keep track of timing when I do one big chunk all at once.

But when I jump around I'm finding it more difficult to keep my different characters' "voices" as distinct.

So ... what have you guys done / found in the past that might help me here?


09-20-2009, 11:44 AM
I write a detailed bio of each character, and a sample of their tongue or 'slang' and I stay within those rules. I also use those rules when I go back and edit.

09-20-2009, 12:19 PM
I had three arcs in my last story and I wrote from start to finish, all together. I'd write until I saw there could be a break, often to heighten the tension. Then I'd return whichever of the other threads needed most to be advanced. I don't think I could have written them separately then meld them later.

kct webber
09-20-2009, 01:58 PM
I'm with Mumut on this one. I had three arcs in my last novel too, and that's how I did it. It would have been impossible for me to keep up with the timing if I'd have tried to write all three arcs separately. I did the same thing... Write 'til I could break at a good tension-heightening point, then move to one of the other arcs.

As for keeping in character... I guess you just have to make sure you really know your characters. Maybe write some little short stories from their histories, just to get closer to them? *shrugs* I don't know. :)

09-20-2009, 03:43 PM
Have you tried rereading the previous section from viewpoint A before you start into the next section from viewpoint A? That could help you get back into the character voice--you could even go so far as to retype a page or two.

That's assuming that your characters do have distinct narrative voices, and they're just getting lost in the jumping around.

09-20-2009, 04:57 PM
Hmm, interesting idea to write out each arc separately, then to combine them. I actually think I'd have fewer timing problems this way, since I'd have completed arcs to compare and twink before I intercut them.

09-21-2009, 04:57 AM
Yeah, thats how I think I've decided to write the story. Each arc, then combine later. I mean, I might end up jumping into another part if I get a good idea, or something really takes a hold of me that I dont want to lose, but otherwise I'm sticking to each arc seperate and we'll see how it goes.

I'm including natural breaks in the story or scene jumps as I'm going along, so its not like it will be hard to find good places to cut and hop to the other arcs.

I'm actually now contemplating a few scenes from the POV of my main villain...the problem is I'll have to 'pick my moments' so I don't spoil any of the other arcs (with a bad guy pretending to be a good guy, as a plot twist, etc). I can have him say things like, "What news from the spy?" but not actually name him, etc and leave the reader, hopefully, guessing which guy is really the bad guy. :) Anyhoo this whole last paragraph I realize is just rambling for my own sake. But oh well, so sue me. :P