Monday, May 6, 2013

Circumstances vs. Relationships

I’ve mentioned before that I’m using two alternating POVs for my Epic Novel, Book One. When I first started writing the secondary POV, I had so much fun! Everything just flowed and came so easy. The character was mysterious, and that made him fun to write. However, the longer I wrote from his POV (and the more the reader got to know him), the more difficult time I had. I found myself floundering around for scenes to tell from his POV. What was going on?

My primary POV character, while daunting at times, has definite scenes and steady movement. The various trials he goes through during his military training move the story, show his growth, and set up future plot elements.

Since that worked so well for POV One, I decided to try it with POV Two. Except that it didn’t work. Every time I sat down to write, instead of marksmanship or marching or combat training, POV Two spent a scene during personal time to share a moment with his small group of friends. BORING. Or wait--is it?

You know those light bulb moments? I had one of those. And a flashback. (woah, light bulb and flashback at the same time!) I flashbacked to Lit class in college and those phrases:

     --Man vs. Man
     --Man vs. Nature
     --Man vs. Machine
     --Man vs. God

(my notes are in a box somewhere, so I’m just writing from memory.)

I realized that POV One’s character arc follows his circumstances. The situations in which he finds himself stretch and mold him; they move the story and show his growth. However, POV Two’s movement is more internal, more emotionally driven. Much of his growth happens within his own head based on the relationships he has. Ohhhh, personal time with friends. Relationships.

POV One’s character arc is circumstantial.
POV Two’s character arc is relational.

Ta da! Wish I could say problem solved, but as I have very little experience in relational character arcs, I may have to do some research. Too bad all those books and notes are in boxes as well . . .

Happy writing!

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