Today’s Writing Tip

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Another way to maintain continuity for various viewpoints is to cut and paste relevant scenes into a separate document so you can read them in sequence. That way you don’t have to dig through anything in between to make sure there’s a logical flow to what they’re doing.

I don’t always write scenes in sequence, but skip around. Since it’s important to keep the flow of the story going in the proper order, I find this is helpful to maintain character development within the story. Characters should change and evolve, and by having all their action in a single document makes it easier to see the story through their eyes and how their motivation or attitude might change.

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Today’s Writing Tips

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I have a difficult time writing from only one point of view. In fact, in my current WIP, I started writing in first person and quickly found myself stuck. When I opened it up to other POVs it started to move. I think knowing characters’ motivation is important and that is harder to cover without getting into their head.

However, multiple viewpoints can be a challenge. I’ve found that when I’m on a roll with one particular character it’s easier to stick to that one until I hit a wall, even if I’m skipping over chapters to do so. That way you at least have continuity for that person.

Today’s Writing Tip

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When writing a story from multiple viewpoints, I find it helpful to concentrate on one character at a time. That way I can really get into his or her head and trace the story line as it plays out for them. Maintaining the proper chronology seems easier as well. This is most common for secondary/supporting characters as opposed to your protagonist, who is driving the story.

I tend to get ideas for scenes that don’t necessarily fit where I am writing, especially a first draft.  In other words, I don’t start with Chapter One and proceed in order. When an idea comes, I need to get it written right away, or it will evaporate. This works for me, but does require paying attention to the story’s timeline and keeping everything in the proper sequence. My main point is not to ignore an idea when it comes your way. They can be fragile and disappear if you don’t capture them when they’re fresh in your mind.

Today’s Writing Tip

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Know the difference between omniscient point of view and multiple points of view. Omniscient goes into everyone’s head in any given scene. Multiple viewpoints concentrate on one character at a time, but covers several throughout the course of the story.

Multiple is usually more effective for reader engagement. Your POV character should be able to tell a lot about what others are thinking by their actions, body language, and facial expressions, just like you do every day. Remember that verbal communication is a very small percentage of what a person projects. Such cues are often more effective for conveying emotion than dialog alone.