Is this second POV needed?

by Bruce
(Michigan )

Question: I am writing a story with two main characters that don't really affect each others lives for 90% of the book. The main idea for the story came from one char though. The other character got created when I was taking a closer look into my plot gaps and is my missing link. Without the other character I am worried that people would look at the story and see an ending that should never have been possible, but I am a little worried that people might become bored with this second character. The second character is mostly emotional and political.

I am mostly worried that the second character might not keep my readers turning the pages......

What would you do? Cut them out, make them have more going on, or cut down on the amount of chapters based around them? (I am currently switching POV every chapter)

Answer: Bear in mind that I haven't read your story.

That said, it sounds to me that your secondary point-of-view character has an important function to play in the story. However, if most of that person's story is not so interesting, you might consider reducing their role in the book.

For instance, maybe it would be enough for your 2nd POV character to appear once per act rather than every other chapter. Just give the reader a few key events from his/her POV, enough to establish their dramatic arc and justify the important role they are to play (perhaps at the climax?). Just provide the interesting bits.

In other words, maybe you introduce the character in one chapter of act one (establish their motivation or purpose). Have one chapter in act two where they get more involved - perhaps put them in an increasingly difficult dilemma. Towards the climax, have them do what they must do that affects the outcome. Finally, show how they end up in act four.

This would turn your 2nd POV character's story into an important subplot.

Most importantly, you never want to bore your reader. So if you don't like that idea and you really want to give a lot of pages to this 2nd character, then your other option is to make their story more interesting.

Comments for Is this second POV needed?

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 15, 2013
by: Todd Rogers

I would think that instead of trying so hard to keep your story arcs so divergent from the main storyline, you should, perhaps, weave them together more tightly to give the entire story more symmetry and balance.

At a recent Kindle ePublishing event I attended in Los Angeles, we learned a really neat way to write a book while keeping the information organized.

1) Get 4 packs of index cards (at least 100ct each; I like the rainbow colored variety so I can color code my info as needed)

2) Break your plot down into a set of events (the same events that were you doing this freestyle or on the fly would flow logically from the beginning to the end of your story: think cause and then effect or decision and then consequence), writing each major event on the same color index card.

3) Using another color index card, write down the effect or consequence of the plot event you just made cards for, limiting it to no more than 2 or 3 per card.

4) Repeat Step 3 until you've mapped out the entire storyline.

5) Write your dialogue to fit what is written on the cards, in whatever order you wish to do it (so long as the story remains balanced)

This method helped me write my first book.

Hope this helps!

Good Luck!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Plot Invite.

search this site the web
search engine by freefind

Celebrating our 2nd year as one of the...

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero