Monday, July 2, 2012

The POV Question

My final edits of "Rebel Heart" are coming along quite well. I spent most of last week and this past weekend going through line-by-line and looking for accidental POV shifts, repeated words, useless voice tags, etc and I believe that the manuscript is much tighter as a result. I've got roughly 100 pages left before I'm done and then the major work will commence.

After polling you guys and the forums at AND AbsoluteWrite, I have decided to stick to one POV instead of having the 1st and 3rd shifts. To be honest, it's still a hung jury. Many said, "Do want you think is best!" while others said, "You just don't use 1st and 3rd in the same story." To add to it all, very few people seemed to understand what how things really were. Some thought that I had multiple POVS, all written in 1st. It occured to me that if people couldn't even wrap their heads around the way that I describe the writing style, then it might not bode well for the actual readers. The way I have written the manuscript makes plenty of sense to me and I think the shifts are not at all confusing. I was inclined to take the gamble and leave the manuscript as is, but let's face it, I don't have the courage it takes to be a rebel. I think so much of your success as a self-publishing author comes from reviews and if I get too many people saying that they think the novel is written weird, then I'm up the creek without a paddle.

So I really stressed over the weekend or rather yesterday, thinking that I would change everything to 3rd person so that I could keep POVS for Alex and Richard Ashby. But as I tried to re-write Julienne's part in 3rd person, I realized that it just wasn't working. Sure there were sections that sounded better in 3rd, but overwhelmingly, the result of a few edited pages was just "off." I didn't like it at all. So I made the excrutiating decision to delete the forays into the minds of Richard and Alex, and just stick with Julienne's 1st person view. It makes more sense to be honest, especially since the majority of the novel is already written this way.

Soon I will be tackling how I can convey the things about Alex and Richard that will be left out as a result of having their POVs deleted. Richard is turning out all right (I started working on him first) although I was very concerned that without a direct line into his head, the reader wouldn't be able to see his dissent into madness. Now Alex is going to be difficult because he has a lot of backstory, not to mention the fact that he is a spy. So conveying that through Julienne's eyes is going to be difficult. But I like a challenge and it certainly has stirred up my creative juices (thank God!), so even though I spent most of yesterday banging my head against the wall, I'm kind of happy to be feeling something in regards to my writing.

So how about you guys? Have you had to make gut wrenching decisions when it comes to your writing?


  1. Hey Caroline!

    I really like this line:

    I've got roughly 100 pages left before I'm done
    and then the major work will commence.

    I think you've made the correct decision about the multiple POVs.

    Good luck!

    1. Hi Ellis! Hope you are well.

      Yes, I try to maintain a sense of humor at all times. :-)

  2. Such a tough call! I have a shelved manuscript that I went through a multi POV conversion and switched those from 3rd to 1st. I knew I made the right decision (shelved or not!), and even though it was a lot of work, I felt better about the overall story.

    Keep on plugging away, you'll get there soon. :)