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Writing Dual POVs

One of the most important decisions authors make when they embark on a new manuscript is which point of view, or POV,  to use to best tell the story. Once you’ve decided between the first person and the third person, it may feel like your job is done. It's not.

By
Kat Brzozowski, Swoon Reads, Writing for
Episode #531

Make Sure Both POVs are Equally Developed

When you’re writing with dual POVs, it’s essential to make both POVs equally interesting to the reader, which can be challenging. Authors often favor one POV and put more energy and time into developing that POV, which can cause the other POV to feel undeveloped. If you need to include two POVs, make sure that both are equally compelling and will make the reader want to keep turning the pages.

Don’t Repeat Scenes in Different POVs

In addition, it’s essential that we learn different things from each POV rather than seeing the same scenes or information repeated. If we see Judy and Bill meeting on the space station in Judy’s POV, we shouldn’t see this same scene again from Bill’s perspective unless he knows something she does not in this scene, and that fact is important for the reader to learn. Repeating scenes in both POVs slows the manuscript’s pace and leaves the reader feeling stuck.

Remember, even though writing with dual POVs is trendy, what’s most important is picking the POV that works for your story. It’s always better to stick to one POV with a strong voice than to write dual POVs that don’t feel different from each other.

Have other questions? Swoon Reads is happy to answer them for you! Check out their writing guide and email them any of your pressing questions on writing, the editorial process, or publishing in general at swoonreads@macmillanusa.com.

A Swoon Reads editor gives her tips for writing from the point-of-view of two different characters.

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Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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About the Author

Kat Brzozowski, Swoon Reads, Writing for Grammar Girl

Kat Brzozowski is a senior editor at Swoon Reads and Feiwel and Friends. Originally from New Hampshire, she now lives in New Jersey, where she spends her time between eating dumplings, watching “Survivor,” and doing embroidery, sometimes all at the same time.

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