Editing Tip Tuesday

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Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Whose scene is it anyway?

In many novels, there is more than one point of view (POV) character. It isn’t unheard of for characters to run around in a writer’s head demanding to tell their story. This goes on in real life too. Do you know how many people I’ve met who tell me I should write about them? But back to the point.

Not every character can be the lead in every scene. You must decide who has the most at stake in that scene and that’s your POV character. You might find while you’re writing that a scene isn’t working. I know this is happening when I’m writing because I physically feel like I’m banging up against something. (I know, weird, but I’ve learned to identify this strange feeling and work with it.) If you ask yourself the hard truth, you’ll know if a scene isn’t working for you too. Sorry, not all our writing is pretty.

Ask yourself who has the most to gain or lose in this scene? It might not be the person you started out with. Rewrite the scene from another character’s POV and see what happens. At the very least you’ll learn something about the people in your scene. If you’re doing your job right, every character will sound differently and when you give someone else the chance to stand center stage they will show you something you didn’t know about before in your story. I promise you.

Any questions? I love hearing from you. Happy Writing!

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