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June 15, 2009

Scene changes/POV changes...

Ok, here's another newbie question...

TV shows and movies have scene changes that clearly indicate a change in POV, even if that time frame is going on at the same time as another's POV, in another scene.

In books, you indicate a scene change with some form of marker. Usually the # mark or * * *.

Now, I've seen where people poo the whole scene change thing, stating it's a change of POV so therefore it should be in its own chapter. Keep the one chapter to one POV and when you change the scene/POV, make it a new chapter.

However, what about if the change of POV has to backtrack a bit in time? Still make it a new chapter or just make the scene separation mark and keep it in the same chapter? Is it possible to make the story have too many # marks in the chapter?

Example:

Character is in another city, doing an investigation for her article. She had made waves with a local big wig in the town she lives in and he's trying to find out her real identity.

Bigwig goes to her editor/boss to try and find out her real name (she writes under an assumed name). This would all take place during her drive to the other city.

After Character arrives in other city, Editor calls her to reem her a new one for Bigwig's visit.

Would I go:

Write Character's decision to go to other city, describe describe, mental meanderings, some hints of back story here.

#

Write about Bigwig going to Editor and reaming him a new one. Make threats and show off how rich and powerful he is, blah blah. This would be in Bigwig's POV since he's one of the main characters.

#

Editor calls Character and reams HER out for his reaming, etc etc...this would be in her POV, of course.


Or...

Trip to other city...get phone call after arrival, it's Editor reaming her out, telling her what happened, etc.

Rest of chapter is her activities in other town, mental meanderings as she processes what she was told, her trip back to hometown to deal with fallout.

Next chapter is Bigwig's POV about his going to Editor to ream him out, his thoughts about failing his mission to get her name...making plans to further his goal in finding her real identity.


The first would be more in sync with a time line. Everything happens in order as it occurred. The second would be more along the lines of the whole "each character's POV in their own chapter and not so much head hopping", even though it backtracks time a bit, then catches up to current.

I've seen both done successfully, but in seasoned, published authors' books and as a beginner, I want to make sure my story is polished. I'm already handicapped for being new...


Input?

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