When the Story Splits

In my preparations to begin revising MS:TS, I have made a rather large decision about the story. Largely based on invaluable feedback from critiquing sessions and a class I just finished, plus some serious grappling with the implications of the decision, I have decided to change this manuscript from a one Point of View (POV) story to a dual POV story.

When I tell you this is a decision I did not make lightly, I am serious. My gut reaction when I was first confronted with the idea was the small voice inside that whispered fervently, and with more and more urgency when it become obvious that I was intrigued by the idea, “but, we’ve never written a multiple POV story before!” That was comforting on some levels because I know when I’m faced with a situation and nervous about it, that there is almost always an opportunity for great personal growth buried within it. Once I moved through that, I started pulling at the manuscript in my mind, searching for the places this other character’s voice could be and should be heard. I found that as I contemplated the scenes and chapters within the manuscript, there were several places that jumped out at me as obvious places this character’s POV needed to be heard. Moving beyond the obvious ones, it was easier still to see where her POV would be woven into and through the story, mirroring the story and the protagonist already in the narrator’s seat. I was worried that it would feel like I would need to force the other character’s POV into it, but nothing felt like it would be a struggle. There was actually a loosening of the story in my mind, as if the story was meant to be told with both character’s POV all along. That feeling made the final decision and from there it was a matter of rethinking my strategies moving forward.

I have never written a dual POV before and while I am excited to take on the challenge, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was also nervous. Feeling prepared always makes me feel less nervous, so I picked a color for each character based off of what office supplies I had the most of already (thriftiness) and supplemented from there. Luckily, I hadn’t started any new plotting or mapping for this revision yet, so I’ll be diving into it this week fresh. I have some ideas already and plan to do some researching on writing dual POV manuscripts as I go. I’ve recently read a few multiple POV novels and being in that head space in the stories I’ve been consuming has already helped. As I rethink how my characters will revolve around each other, it’s easy to see when each one will step forward to do the telling in the manuscript. This week I want to do some writing exercises with each character separate from the other. I want to write scenes that happen outside the story I’m telling and see how they describe each other and how they feel about each other. Seeing them separate from one another will strengthen them individually in my mind which will be just one of the keys in telling their stories together, and individually, well. New opportunities for learning and growth, especially in my writing, make me very excited and I can’t wait to start writing.

In case you haven’t been told today, you are more than enough.

Happy Writing!

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