How to add a second POV...

Recently, I found myself in a conundrum. I'd written a book in 1st person, entirely from the female MC's POV. It was a cute story--Missy's favorite out of all the stories I've written (and read her.)

However, the story needed more.

It needed a giant explosion. It needed a second POV. Yikes.

How do you take a finished story and add in a second POV? Did it even need one?

In this case the story did need a second POV. It was a romance, and romances traditionally have both POVs. Also, while I had thought it was her story, which was why I wrote it entirely from her POV, it was also his and by having only her POV the reader was missing out on a lot. Beta readers wanted to know what he was thinking when he saw her for the first time in years, what his motivations were when he swept her away, and what he was thinking when he thought she wasn't coming back.

That meant tearing out half the story and re-writing it. Not a task for the faint of heart.

The first thing I did was decide if it would work with both POVs 1st or if I needed to switch to 3rd--not impossible, but a lot of work, or keep her POV in 1st and write his in 3rd. After doing some research and polling, I decided to keep both in 1st. However, to minimize confusion I'd have all odd chapters from her POV and all even chapters from his. This was my personal preference as a reader and hopefully will help readers switch between POVS. There are a lot of ways to do it, this is what worked for me and the story.

Next I made an outline of every chapter and every scene and what it was about.
1. Chapter 1
    1.1 -- Dani gets in a fight with her brother
    1.2 -- The earthquake happens
...you get the idea...

I went through the scenes and chapters, figuring out what scenes should be in what POV. Who has the most to lose.  In order to keep my odds and evens, some chapters had to be moved around, some were cut, shortened, or changed, and I had to add entirely new chapters from his POV. In my outline I referenced what changes needed to be made and what would be in the new scenes, though just a sentence like
     14.1 Lukas gets in a fight with his dad.

Once I had this outline, I started drafting. First, I made the changes to her story, making the chapters and sections where I needed to change things or write new scenes. I cut the darlings and all the things I couldn't keep in order to keep the word count the same, keep the pacing, and have the new version make sense. I kept referencing my outline, changing it up as I needed it, since even though I knew what to write in each scene.

I also had to make sure that each voice was distinctive--and beyond Dani being female and Lukas being male. Lukas' chapters tended to be shorter, they use different slang words, have different speech patterns. I went over each section repeatedly to make sure I got the just voice right--and to make sure that all the major questions were still answered in the end and if important things were cut when I lost that POV (or subplot) that it was added back in somehow.

It took some time, especially since I had to figure out quite a few things I didn't need to know when it was only in her POV. But figuring out these things added some really interesting layers to this story. It heightened the stakes and a new (and exciting) subplot I never would have thought of before.

Adding in the second POV made it a better story.

Don't be daunted if you need to add an additional POV. Break down the story so you can see what you have and where there are gaps and fill it in from there. Take it one step at a time. Figure out what works for you and your story.

Happy writing.




No comments: