Novel Experiment · writing

Writing Week in Review: 10/15-10/21


This week has been all about balance. As I’ve continued the editing process, I’ve tried to create some degree of equity in terms of character arcs and POV word counts.

I don’t think that POVs need to have perfectly matching word counts, but I do believe that different characters need comparable amounts of screen time. It is far too easy to write about a character and then have her disappear only to emerge at the end of the book and inevitably confuse the reader. (Where did this character come from? What has she been doing for the past 100 pages? Do I remember anything about her? Am I even interested in knowing how her story ends anymore?)

To prevent that from happening, I’m adjusting the weave of the different POV chapters. It is a bit of a picky process because the timelines don’t perfectly correspond. I know that they don’t have to match, but I struggle to be clear about the when and where as I move between characters.

I’d love to hear how the rest of you manage your POC characters! The phrase “like herding cats” jumps to my mind, but that may just be because I’ve been spending so much time reorganizing mine that I’m sure they must defy human logic.


8 thoughts on “Writing Week in Review: 10/15-10/21

  1. Hi Kristen. I don’t analyze that finely when I’m drafting (equal time). I know what needs to happen and where, and then think about who would be best to reveal that piece and how (some bits need to be kept secret for various reasons). I only use maybe three-four different viewpoints max in a novel; the protagonist, sometimes the antagonist, and two-three key players. I’ve heard some writers talk about describing the same event from two viewpoints for effect (like a hurricane, for example). And I like what Louise Erdrich does in her novels: the character’s name heads the chapter and each reveals the next piece in differing viewpoints. There are many ways to play with this:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Once I had an editor read an early draft of my work & they told me my main character had disappeared for about 50 pages.I hadn’t even realised! I think it’s important to get feedback from at all stages of the work to make sure you get the balance right. And I agree, the timing can be tricky. My current WIP has dual narrators, both speaking in first person, so that makes it easy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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