What was it that caused me so quickly to begin a revision of Vengeance Will Come, when it had literally been the farthest thought from my mind?
In the months since putting the manuscript in the mail, I’ve been mulling over how I wrote it. One problematic issue has risen to the surface of my consciousness like foul oil sitting on the top of clean water. The frequent point-of-view (POV) swapping and I’m now convinced it’s a problem.
While some POVs lasted for an entire chapter, there were many, many more far shorter. Someone wise once coined the phrase, ‘a picture tells a thousand words’, obviously that person has never played Pictionary on my team… My lack of drawing skills aside, here’s a picture to demonstrate. (All the yellow highlights are scene changes).
(Wow, even though I knew it was a problem… this display makes it clearer – and me dizzy).
At the time of writing, I thought that the rapid POV/scene changes added to the speed of the novel… but I’ve gradually decided that too many rapid POV-shifts disorient to the reader. Possibly also, my constant POV changes hinted at a weakness in my writing. I believe it’s easier to head-jump than describe the same thing through one character’s brain.
Recognising this flaw, the main change I am going to be doing through revision is cutting down on the number of scenes and POV changes. Small POVs will either be discarded or made meatier.
Do you agree – does frequent and short POVs confuse or annoy you as a reader?
(Next writing-related blog post, I’ll show you the first ‘real’ scene of chapter 1 and explain why it’s now lying on the cutting room floor).