Making the POV Switch

Have you ever, during the editing process, decided to switch your story’s POV?

I’ve made the decision to do this with one of my projects. Currently, the story is told in third person POV, and I’m going to switch things to first person POV.

It was a difficult decision to make. I love third person POV, and it works fine for this story. But I think there’s something a little extra I can add by telling the tale in first person instead. I won’t lie…it’s a rather tedious process making so many small changes, but I definitely think it’ll be worth it in the end.

In addition to these small changes, however, it’s also been interesting to see how many sentences require complete overhauls because of the switch…a sentence perfectly well-suited to one POV can sound awkward or just plain wrong in another! I enjoy making these changes…the challenge of rewriting each scene to convey the same mood with different sentences and sometimes entirely new paragraphs is proving to be a lot of fun.

Do you have any experience changing a story’s POV? Did you like making these changes, or did it feel like a repetition of effort you’d already made?

7 Responses so far.

  1. Donna Hosie says:
    I changed THE DEVIL'S INTERN from third to first when it was still in draft form. Worked perfectly, although this route requires not just rewriting but a lot of proofing. You'll be amazed how many sentences you miss first time around.

    Good luck, and trust your instincts.

  2. Mere Joyce says:
    Oh for sure! I'm dreading the many times I'll find those kind of errors multiple drafts from now, =) Glad it worked for your story!
  3. Deshipley says:
    Oh, mercy, I must have fussed with the POV of one of my novels 4 or 5 times. After much tedious experimentation, going over the same opening passages again and again, I believe I've found the only narrative voice that will suit this particular project. It was a drag, but whatcha gonna do? Some stories are very persnickety about how they're told.
  4. Mere Joyce says:
    Haha, very true!
  5. cleemckenzie says:
    Oh, yes. That POV switch is a terror. Even after FINAL edits I've found a sentence with the wrong pronoun or a nonsense sentence. Arrrg!
  6. cleemckenzie says:
    Oh, yes. That POV switch is a terror. Even after FINAL edits I've found a sentence with the wrong pronoun or a nonsense sentence. Arrrg!
  7. Mere Joyce says:
    I know, it's a bit ridiculous how your eye will catch one mistake immediately, and then gloss over another in the same sentence, like, ten or more times!

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