Quick Tip: After A Major Revision, Do a POV Voice Check

When you’re writing multiple points of view, it’s important that those voices stay distinct. I’ve recommended before that you revise each POV individually early on in the process to ensure the characters have their own arc and voice (Revising One Character at a Time, 3 Tips for Revising One Character at a Time). It must have worked with the manuscript I was working on at the time because readers listed the distinct voices as a strength.

However, as I received later feedback and made additional changes to the manuscript, I skipped this process. When a new reader went through the manuscript recently, I received the comment that the two POVs sounded too similar. Even though I’d dealt with the character arc early on, I still needed to monitor the voice. Oops! I’d forgotten my own advice.

So, that’s my quick tip for the day. If you are writing in multiple points of view, don’t forget to do another voice check after a major revision, particularly if you’re alternating POVs. It’s so easy for the voices to start blending together again if you’re revising linearly. Once I separated the two characters out, the words and phrases that didn’t fit for each voice jumped out at me pretty quickly. Thankfully I had a good reader who pointed it out to me :).

Do you have any other tricks for nailing individual voices? I also read aloud multiple times.

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