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NaNoWriMo - What Next? Handling Multiple POVs

8 Jan 2017



So, we’ve talked about the character arc and the major plot points for your novel. But how about combining that main plot line with the other characters who reside within the story?


If you have used multiple points of view (POV), you need to work out both the emotional arc and the major plot points for all characters who hold their own plot line. Theirs may not be as complex as your protagonist’s, but they must still work under the same story principles - emotional arc, turning points, climax and resolution. If it helps, the plot lines and emotional developments of these more minor characters work rather like fitting in a short (though connected) story into your overall novel plot.


Often, their climatic scenes will combine with and add tension to your protagonist’s climax. Usually, the use of multiple POVs provides sub-plots (so be wary how many you use as, the more there are, the more complicated it is working it all out.) So…


9.)  First consider your principle POV character. In addition to the arc and the four main plot arenas, can you identify their main story goals for each section? Story goals will change but are always in pursuit of the over-arcing plot goal, while often setting into motion increasing story stakes.


What usually happens in a story is that once the protagonist enters into the new and unusual world of the main story -- after the first major turning point -- their new goal becomes a matter of survival and the real story stakes are established.


So, a couple of examples: In Girl with a Pearl Earring, Griet’s initial goal is to keep her head down and do a good job at her new employers’ home so that she can earn money to feed her struggling family. Once she enters this new environment it is clear that she is unwelcome by several members of the household, who would jump on