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Writing with POVs?

Has anyone written in multiple POVs? I wouldn't mind any advise if so!

My recent work focussed on two perspectives, but since finishing the first draft and leaving it a few days; I'm realising that that is not enough for the story that needs telling - it needs more elements to come in from other characters in different places to make it all come to the end.

I haven't ever worked with more than one character line, and I am wondering how to make a multilevel story work..

How do you work out the order of chapters?
Is it best two write each story element in its entirety/chronological order then mix them in?
And if each story is written independently then mixed in, how best to work out the ordnance?

Any help much appreciated on this!!
Jane 💕

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This is something I'm working through now, and I think it's going to be a different process for everyone-- maybe even for every book.

From what I've read about multiple POVs, people recommend giving each POV equal time and to only write in the villain's POV if they are redeemed through the course of the story. Each POV should get its own scene at minimum to avoid the confusion of head-hopping.

As for your specific problem, a good question to consider may be whether or not your current two POVs have enough agency. Are they actively exploring and seeking information or is life happening to them? If they're active and you still don't have enough threads in the story, then it may be time to consider bringing in another POV.

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Earlier this year I finished the first draft of a Crime fiction story. It was constructed using only two POV's, the hero and the villain. The majority of the story, the hero was closing in on the villain but neither character came face to face until the climax.

I got feedback that suggested that I introduce another POV (or shift POV to 3rd person in parts) because the story felt too claustrophobic, just bouncing only between the minds of two intense personalities. So I reflected on that and introduced a third perspective, to both allow information to be relayed to the reader that neither the hero or villain had access to. It also gave the reader a bit of a break from always being in my two main characters heads all the time.

In that story, the order of my chapters was strictly chronological, occurring over the space of a week. In writing my first draft I alternated (perhaps too rigidly) between them as I was running a chess stratagem motif whereby there was a continual back and forth between them, as action and response, action and response. I thought that if I'd written the entire story first from the hero POV and then from the villain POV, that my villain would know how the story ended and that I might (subconsciously maybe) change the way I wrote their version of story and therefore, how they were portrayed.

For me, for that story I chose not to write fully completed independent POV stories to be grafted together. Rather, I sketched an outline of each POV interaction with other characters and then, for the dialogue and scene detail, I let the characters decide at the time, what felt rights/made sense. That felt more organic to me, maybe gave an edginess to my characters because they were forced to make decisions 'in the now' a bit. That felt like a good way to go for that story but I guess it depends on the type of story.
Guess I gave a bit of a ramble but I hope it helped with your question, good luck with your story.

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I have trouble writing from multiple POV's. I know this advise may not help much and it could take more work that most people aren't willing to do. I did a book (which i have since rewritten) and wrote it first in probably 3 person POV. I felt like it wasn't giving enough information and I would get stuck quite a bit. So I switched to third person limited, which meant I could still write for different perspectives in a way without getting too confused about whose turn it was in a chapter or boxed in by these few perspectives.

I don't know if this helps you, but good luck with your writing! :)

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mm i had one story, Greenfields Two, first person POV. And two narrators... but that one worked best for that story as the main character who narrates the most of it has NO idea that his friend hijacks the book years and years later and sticks in the missing bits of information... so one tells it as-is narrative, admitting the blank sections as "i don't know what happened", and the other interjects twice for sizeable chunks at a time, breaks the fourth wall, comments on the other one's writing (and momentarily compares it to his own >u

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I work with multiple POVs all the time. I will switch between characters within one chapter if there is a common thread or timeline. For me, chronological order works best. In the early drafts, I put modern dates at the start: always starting with 1st Jan in chapter one, to get the timeline right because the characters may not share the same space, but may meet in 9 months. I will write one story and snip it apart an insert in the timeline. Then another. Followed by lots of ironing and smoothing and redrafting. Also you need to visually see the pattern of the POV you write about. Using Scrivner helps a lot as you can colour code the chapters and sections. That way you get a good feeling if you are neglecting someone's POV. While, I am not too worried about giving everyone equal part, there should be a semblance of balance and reason why your sections are what they are.

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Oh my goodness, your method of putting the dates down is amazing! Just had a full on lightbulb moment lol. Thank you!

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Oops, sorry for dropping off the face of the earth for too long here.

Thank you all for your incredible advice and suggestions! It's given me a lot of food for thought, and I think I've got it sussed now =)

Thank you so much =D

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One important thing with multiple POVs is to ensure the individual characters voices show through, which creates more clarity for the reader. My Tablo story "The World Below" is my latest attempt at doing this. It uses multiple characters, each with a separate chapter and a continuous timeline. Please feel free to check it out.

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