Multiple personalities

My current work has various point of views, and as I’m doing a re-write, I’m in and out of these POV quite often in one sitting. Some days I flow smoothly between them, others it’s harder for me to transient back and forth. In a sense it’s like role-playing, becoming each character, walking, talking, and thinking like them. Each character can’t only be unique in my mind, it must come across on the page as well.

Today is one of those days where I’m having trouble changing characters. I have to stop, get up from the computer, walk around for a while, and then come back. If I’m still stuck, I’ll go back and read the last scene with his or her POV. That usually does it. I have had days where I skip a particular POV if I’m just not feeling it. I don’t need to give myself even more re-writing to do!

How about you, any tricks to switching POV?

side note: I would still love to have some recommendations on published bloggers whose work you’ve read and recommend, so if you have one, please share it on my last post.

12 thoughts on “Multiple personalities

  1. You sound like me. I often have to jump up and move around, sometimes I do something completely unrelated and it will come to me. I really have no tricks. You describe it well when you say it’s like role-playing. I really have to pretend i’m that character by times in order for the words to come.

    1. When I was writing yesterday, I noticed that if I don’t get straight into that character, just writing helps. Usually by paragraph two I’m there. Sometimes this whole writing thing seems so odd to me! Lol

  2. I had to stop and think after reading your post. I can’t remember writing anything in a multi-pov for the last 11 years–not in the way I think you mean. I used three viewpoints in Brevity, but only one at a time in separate sections of the book. So, of course, I didn’t switch often.

    Now you have me intrigued and I want to write in multi-pov to see how I would do it. 😉

  3. I find many times that when alternating POV with drastically different voices, it’s best to perfect in the revision process. I will print out only those chapters with the one POV, and focus on staying in character and in voice on these chapters. Listening to music that reminds me of that character helps too, either before or during this mass POV edit.

    1. Thanks for sharing that Anna. It’s funny you mention music, because a few days back I was listening to music that was distracting me, and I realized it was because the character I was in wouldn’t listen to that kind of music!

  4. I find that when I do more than one POV in a story, it’s easier to write the whole manuscript first. Then during the revision stage I’ll focus on just one of the characters and do all their scenes. I might listen to music, watch a movie, or read a book with a character who has some of the same traits as the charater to get myself in the mood. I’ve been told that it worked for My Lord Hades with the three POV’s. People thought Perephone and Hades had two different voices.

    1. I haven’t been able to it that way yet, Stephanie. I know so many writers who use this method, but I need to follow the story. Maybe it’s because I need to be there as they grow and change, and if I skip sections where it’s not their POV it would be too confusing for me. In this novel all the stories are interlinked. Thanks for sharing! I love the getting into the characters mood!

  5. Hi, I think this is a tricky one and I remember just how difficult something like it could be. Perhaps you could begin your writing day with the viewpoint character in question and not think too much about the transition from one to another. When working on my novel rewrite, I would sometimes separate the viewpoint characters, to the point where I’d work separately before linking them up. Just a thought…..hope all is well,


    1. Thanks, Lawrence. So many writers seem to use this method, perhaps I will try it again in the final re-write. And you’re certainly right, overthinking is a definite to do damage. Hope all going well with Secrets!

  6. I tried switching POV’s for my ghost novel once but it seemed like too much work for my first novel. What did help me though was creating a thorough character profile for each character in the book, from their childhood life to what makes them tick today. It became more of a how would so-and-so react to this happening….that made it soo much easier to transition to a different character. Hope it goes well! 🙂

    1. Hi Jennifer, I remember you posting about this amazing journal of yours that keeps a profile of your characters! Amazing!!
      You know, I wasn’t that smart when I wrote this novel, or rather I was naive. It’s actually the first thing I ever wrote once (aside from scribbles and what not when I was younger) and it has mulitple povs. It’s seven years later and I’ve gone back to it. Ahhhh. sometimes I want to run screaming! lol

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