Friday, June 29, 2012

Epic Roadblocks

It seems the more epic the story is the more roadblocks you run into. It's usually one mountain of a roadblock too. My latest WIP is told from the point-of-view of several characters and I'm struggling with how to arrange the different POVs/chapters.

We write what we want to read and I don't like stories with too many POVs (point-of-views). Game of Thrones irritated me because every chapter was told from a different perceptive. Anne Bishop's Black Jewels Series was amazing but sometimes she had too many POVs for my liking. Unfortunately, my novel is heading in that direction. I need to find a balance- keep all the character perspectives without annoying myself and the reader.

Another issue I'm having is monitoring the flow of time between different POVs. For instance, I'm with Mike for 3 days. When I switch to Susan, I need to remember 3 days has passed for her as well.

Or worse, I start with Mike's POV. The next chapter is Susan's. 2 days pass with her. I switch to Mary's perspective. Another 2 days go by with her. When I return to Mike, it's 4 days later. How do you keep up with that?! Just writing it gave me a headache. Why does my novel sound like a math problem?!

Since this is the draft, I'm ignoring time, for the most part. I'll deal with it later. As for chapter arrangements, I'm treating it the same way I handled my essays in college- the end of one section should somehow lead to the beginning of the next one. Doesn't solve my dilemma though, does it?

How do you determine chapter order when you have multiple POVs? How do you manage the flow of time from chapter to chapter?

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