No one can ever accuse me of being too fast. I prefer to think of myself as the slow-and-steady kind who gets things right in the end. But still, it can be annoying.
The case in point: I’m going through my manuscript to check out how I’ve used shifts in the POV, point of view.
Shifting the POV is acceptable if it is clearly defined at the beginning of chapters or otherwise marked. This advice can be found in Writing Mysteries edited by Sue Grafton. It is used effectively in The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro and S is for Silence by Grafton.
I used different POVs to enable three secondary characters to present themselves to the reader and share their thoughts and experiences. This bothered some, not all, of my Beta readers.
Writers need good feedback on their stories & manuscripts. You can’t fix the problems until you know what they are.
However, a writer has to acknowledge that a problem exists before steps can be taken to fix things up.
This second step is very hard. I’ve tried to be open to input and still I’ve come face to face with the issue of acceptance.
By using multiple POVs, I thought I was adding depth and dimension. I thought I was building dramatic tension. I thought I was on par with what I’d seen from other writers.
I finally went back to my manuscript and took a fresh look at what I had done and how it had turned out. I asked myself, “How much value does this really add?”
The answer, “Perhaps, not enough to keep it as is.”
So, here I am at the beginning of NaNoWriMo 2015 looking at some significant rewrites and alterations.
I don’t think it will result in major changes. In fact, I suspect my protagonist will be the clear beneficiary. And she needs help to come across as strong and capable in the end.
The job will be to eliminate the secondary POVs and integrate the character info into other scenes. I can do that without losing much. I will miss the word count more than anything. But finding strength in other places should make it worthwhile.
I wish I could have come to this point sooner. Maybe it is still part of my learning process. It just feels a little old sometimes.
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