Outlining Dual POV

For those who are looking for a really technical how-to, I’m going to advise you look elsewhere. I don’t tend to do bullet-point lists or step by step. Outlining especially is a truly organic process for me, and this means there are no steps, only a broad path to the end that might meander outrageously before I get there. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

The longer I write this blog, the more proof I gather that the solution to at least most of the problems I encounter with writing can be fixed by complaining about them here. I’m not even kidding.

Can’t figure out how a scene needs to go? Bitch in the blog about it. Trouble getting into a character’s headspace? Moan to my (captive?) audience here about how the character in question is being uncooperative. Scared of an idea? Worry in the fairly public space I keep about the problem. Do any of the above and I’ll usually find the solution or the problem will evaporate in the next 24 hours. This latest issue is no exception.

Last post, I said I was having trouble with the beginning. Three guesses as to how it’s going now. Btw, those first two? They don’t even count.

Yes, I’m back on track with the beginning of From Heights We Fall. Apparently I started Viz in the wrong place and the wrong way. He straightened me out and gave me something else to think about.

Outlining with a dual point of view story like the Spire of Time trilogy is a bit tricky. In a way, I got off easy with Necromatic. That was pure Devan. Now, I’m juggling both Reah and Viz’s stories, and they play off each other enough that I can’t just write one side, then the other later. No, they intertwine, the events of one altering the other, so I have to do them together even in outlining.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that’s the way a dual PoV story should unfold. They shouldn’t be totally independent, or at least I don’t want to write one that can function that way. I mean, if they are that independent, then you’re really writing two different stories, not a single one with two sides. That always makes me wonder why they’re in the same book when I read something like that.

So it’s not how I do things and I think that was part of the problem I was running into, when I got mostly blocked on both ends of the story. I had a whole bunch of stuff planned for Reah’s story (so far clearer to me at the outset of each book because this started out as purely her story), and nothing for Viz. And the stuff I had for him was wrong anyway.

In case you’re wondering what got him finally cooperating and whispering, it was a song. I mentioned this last post, that there are certain songs that seem to draw out particular characters. Not every character has one, but a few of them do. Devan had one, Tavis did too, now that I think of it. Saul does, for sure. Well, so does Viz. R-Evolve by 30 Seconds To Mars. I put it on this morning. By lunch, Viz started whispering. Then he began to really share.

I’ve been drifting about in a haze of story for nearly 5 hours now and this story is getting deliciously vicious. I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that ALL my MCs, especially the male ones, are masochists. Every. Last. One. I can’t tell you why I’m saying this. I really can’t. There’s no way you’d understand at this point, since you haven’t read What Lies Beneath either (yeah, I know, my fault, that). Just trust me. I made him fairly miserable at the end of that book and it’s going to get even worse. He’s definitely going to be on his knees before the end of this book.

I’m not sure who’s happier about this, me or him. 😉

It’s nice to feel back on track with this outline, though I need to put today’s notes into the actual outline. I can’t do that at the day job without getting really obvious about what I’m doing. They might notice and object.

I just need to get this last part of Second Thoughts revised. I didn’t get a lot done yesterday, due to massive migraine. And before anyone worries, I’m fine now. Mine don’t last that long, thankfully.  Anyway, I’m off to do some revising and hopefully some straight up outlining.

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About Julie

I'm a writer and photographer. I always have something with me to take notes for ideas or writing projects I'm thinking about or have on the go. I also like to go around with my camera and take pictures of anything that strikes me as beautiful or evocative. I'm perpetually working on one story or another, while waiting for enough distance to judge the last one (or more). I'm always working on several projects at once, developing the next book, even as I'm editing the last. Beyond that, there's always plenty of scraps and twists of ideas rolling around in my head, eventually turning themselves into full blown stories.
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5 Responses to Outlining Dual POV

  1. My God, you are good.

    –Jules

  2. Really informative post! 🙂 Did you get much revision done? Beth

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