Outline Dilemma!

14 Oct

So, I outlined my Nano last month and was very excited about it because I’d never made an outline before (at least not prior to writing the first draft). Now tonight, I’m faced with a tough decision.

I was just working along, breaking the outline into rough chapters, so I could figure up how much plot I’d have to write each day rather than words. (I’ve already said my goal is to finish the story this year, remember.) Then I came to a chapter that can only be written from another character’s point of view. To make it worse, the chapter immediately following that can only be told from a third POV.

Seriously, these events don’t happen until chapters 16 and 17. That’s a little late to start switching POVs. And I could go back and change some of the earlier chapters into their POVs, but there are four brothers and that’s a lot of perspective switching. I neither want to write in that many people’s heads nor do I want to put my readers into that many heads. 1) I don’t think it’s necessary, and 2) I’m honestly just trying to write different from my usual.

Everything else I’ve ever written has used multiple POVs. I have nothing against using multiple POVs, but I’m trying to challenge myself. To me, it seems easier to write using many characters because you can always show the action rather than have them hear about it second hand. But life isn’t like that and for once, I want to write a story isn’t like that. I want to really connect with my ONE main character.

Small diversion for a little story information: It’s about four brothers who are left with nothing when their dad walks out and the quick descent into the hell that can be life as they go from suburban upper-middle class to poverty. (No, I can’t get rid of any brothers, they’re all integral to the family dynamic.)

I know at this point you’re probably thinking. “So what? Just have the MC hear about it second hand.” But I hate to lose the impact of the events and to not see them unfold. I can already picture the scenes in my head and they could be so powerful.

Yeah, basically I’m just whining because sticking to one POV is going to be hard. Why do I set these challenges for myself?

Any thoughts?


Posted by on 2010/10/14 in Writing


14 responses to “Outline Dilemma!

  1. rachelhamm

    2010/10/14 at 17:59

    For the chapter that can only be told from the other character’s POV- could it be through dialogue that he tells it? Who is the main POV? Is the main POV person someone this other character would tell that information to? Could it be in a letter or journal found by the main POV?

    • Candice Beever

      2010/10/14 at 18:28

      The main POV is the youngest brother, Devon. And the others are two of his brothers, Sandy and Marc. They’re supposed to be really close, so them talking about stuff won’t be a problem. And that’s probably what I’ll do for Marc’s POV stuff.

      I like the journal idea and I could use that for Sandy’s POV. He’s supposed be the writer of the bunch.

      Thanks Rachel! You’re super helpful!

  2. rachelhamm

    2010/10/14 at 18:49

    I try 😉

  3. K.D. Storm aka Kim Jackson

    2010/10/14 at 19:14

    That is a hard one to say the least but I think Rachel’s idea is a great one. You could maybe do it through letters. Have that character write to another what’s going on or what he is thinking.

    • Candice Beever

      2010/10/14 at 20:44

      Passing notes in study hall could work. They are in high school. Do boys do that too? Or is it just girls?

  4. rachelhamm

    2010/10/14 at 20:52

    boys passed me notes in middle school- friend boys, not boyfriends- but I don’t remember a whole lot of note passing in high school from boys or girls. My friend Myron did like to draw Z’s all over my notebooks though. He liked to think he was Zorro. Moral of the story- high school boys are stupid. So I think note passing would work.

    • Candice Beever

      2010/10/14 at 21:25

      I asked and broke up with my first boyfriend via a note. It clearly wasn’t serious. LOL, it was 7th grade. I vaguely recall some of the girls reading me notes from their boyfriends in high school. So, I guess it’s not against the edict of manliness to write notes to girls. Yeah, boys at that age are stupid.

      I like the Zorro guy. That’s awesome!

      • rachelhamm

        2010/10/14 at 22:51

        I liked the Zorro guy too. He also liked Batman and thought my dad was a member of the CIA. He was pretty awesome.

    • Candice Beever

      2010/10/14 at 21:27

      Okay, I went so far as to call my husband and ask him, since he used to be a high school boy and all. He said that the boys not only passed notes, but they wrote them in code. What dorks!

      • rachelhamm

        2010/10/14 at 22:51

        I knew husbands were good for something!

  5. Tonya

    2010/10/22 at 15:56

    Late to the party as usual!

    In an earlier post you did mention you are a Generation “Y”er, so please come into your generation (assuming i guess that the setting is modern day), i’m guessing people don’t pass notes too much anymore. we have text, email, and fbook!

    • Candice Beever

      2010/10/22 at 16:14

      Too true. I could have them IMing during a computer class, but they don’t have cell phones because they can’t afford them. Good thought, sis.

      • rachelhamm

        2010/10/22 at 21:21

        Schools will have blocked IMing functions, facebook, etc. on school computers- too many distractions

      • Candice Beever

        2010/10/22 at 21:31

        True, but my work blocked them too and we still manage to get on. Wouldn’t most kids be savvy enough to get around that? Although I could have a fun scene with them getting caught. Hehe!


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