Happy Sunday! Today I’m going to start out with a small confession…
As much as I love reading books with multiple POV’s, I have found that they can be difficult to write. Stating the obvious, trying to write in the minds of several characters vs. one is very . . . overwhelming at times. In the past I have tried writing in one single POV and that frustrated me because I had to stick with that one character for the entire story. Multiple POV’s (I’m just going to call them M-POV’s) gave me a chance to see the story from different angles; to get into a certain character’s heads and learn more about them than from a single POV.
But writing with M-POV can sometimes feel like trying to handle a bunch of kids in a room. With each POV, they need to be developed, they need to have their goals/motivations stated, they need to have their own Character Arcs, they need to have a specific reason for stealing the spotlight, and they need to be their own person with their own voice.
Now, how does one keep track of these POV’s? I’ve tried bookmarking their chapters and being sure to state who’s POV it was. I’ve tried printing out my story and stashing the POV’s into their own pile, but then the story would be out of order. And then one night it hit me.
I was struggling with the third act of my book and writing a synopsis just wasn’t the solution. I needed to figure out where all three of my main characters were going to cross each other, when their goals would be met, and how they would part ways.
Then it hit me. A timeline.
~ The Heir, the Prince, and the Traitor Plot Line ~
We see here that there are three horizontal lines: one for Mikael, Alaine, and Fileus. I placed Alaine in the center because the two guys often cross her path more than they cross each other.
When a character crosses another character’s path, I place a text box over the two lines and describe what happens in the scene – though in this case, I went by chapters, mostly. Simplicity is key here. If the character has a chapter to themselves, then their text box remains on their line only.
Pretty simple, right? I seriously wish I thought of this way back when I was editing the 1st and second draft.
This makes it so easy to keep track of everyone and when they meet with each other, rather than flipping through the entire document. Also, side note, I made this using Microsoft Publisher.
I’ll definitely be using this with the rest of the books. Once I figure out the whole plot first:)
How do you keep track of your POV’s, or just your characters in general? How do you plot your story? Share your best plotting tip!