For those not yet in the know, POV means point of view. It’s about whose voice is telling the story, which character is taking us for the ride. For instance, in my YA historical fantasy, Sophie and the Medallion of Time (I think that title is going to have to change), Sophie tells the story, so the story is in Sophie’s POV.
Recently I received feedback from my beta readers on the third draft of Sophie. One of my readers – my newest critique partner, in fact – pointed out that the relationship between Sophie and her mother was confusing. She couldn’t understand why Sophie’s memories of her mother were so negative. She recommended rewriting those scenes from the mother’s point of view, just to get a better feel for their relationship and the mother’s perspective on Sophie’s reactions.
Furthermore, she suggested that since the mother is French but speaking English, I should try writing her scenes in French so that when I translate them back to English, the reader will get a sense of her different way of constructing sentences. Okay, that part was just hard! My French is rusty and I couldn’t think of how to say everything Sophie’s mom wanted to say. But I think I got the gist.
The point here is that this POV exercise was awesome. I wrote three scenes that involve both Sophie and her mom in her mom’s point of view (and in French – ack!) and when I finished, I wanted to cry. I felt so much more for her mom than I ever had. I was used to relating to Sophie and feeling for Sophie, but I’d never realized I should feel for her mother.
Oh my Zeus, that poor mother. I gained so much insight into what she’s going through that I can now bring to those scenes rewritten once again in Sophie’s POV. This exercise has given me a new excitement for the revision – I can’t wait to get back to it.
What exercises do you use to improve your manuscript?