Author Topic: Dual Point of View Chapter Formatting  (Read 275 times)

notthatamanda

Dual Point of View Chapter Formatting
« on: January 14, 2020, 02:39:51 AM »
My latest book has longer chapters for one characters point of view, then shorter chapters, really short, like a page, for the second character. I had the second character formatted in italics, but I don't think that's good. I just reset the formatting (yay styles) so that it is the same as the first one, but I have extra space between each paragraph. For the most part the paragraphs in these chapters are one line.

I'm not putting the book in KU so I don't think I can be accused of trying to artificially inflate the page count but could there be other problems with it? Is it just dumb?

I originally had each chapter entitled Sam, Terri, Sam, Terri. Now I'm numbering them. I don't really want to do Chapter 1 - Sam, Chapter 2 - Terri. It will be easy to distinguish between the chapters, after the first 4 or 5, but I thought maybe the extra space would be more of a visual cue. Is this good/dumb/indifferent?

Thanks for the help.
 

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Trilogy unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 3718
  • Thanked: 1348 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy core, 2616
    • The Hunter Legacy Universe
Re: Dual Point of View Chapter Formatting
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 02:51:34 AM »
You don't need the names if you're writing in 3rd person, but in 1st they are necessary.

I wouldn't do italics.

Nor would I worry about different sized chapters.

But don't do different paragraph gaps. It will look strange, and might throw off readers. I personally hate formatting which changes, or big paragraph gaps.

If the change in POV is obvious in each chapter, there should be no need to do anything different.

Edit: If you do find you need the names, what I did was do a name graphic for each one, and use that under the chapter number. It made the change very obvious, and was also semi-decorative. They dont need to be high res, just readable.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



Timothy Ellis Kindle Author page. | Join the Hunter Legacy mailing list | The Hunter Legacy series on Facebook. | Forum Promo Page.
 
The following users thanked this post: notthatamanda

Lynn

Re: Dual Point of View Chapter Formatting
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2020, 02:52:08 AM »
Personally, if the povs are easy to distinguish I'd just suggest you have some long and some really short chapters and let it go at that without any distracting differentiation. Readers are savvy and used to all kinds of things. :D It'll take two chapters and then they'll get it and all the rest of the chapters will flow just like they're supposed to. :D
Don't rush me.
 
The following users thanked this post: notthatamanda

Lynn

Re: Dual Point of View Chapter Formatting
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2020, 02:55:18 AM »
Oh, one thing, if the second pov is integral to understanding the scene/ chapter it follows, you could always just do a scene break and include them at the end of each chapter so you'd have two povs per chapter. I'd test it with one or two and see if I liked it better. Otherwise, separate chapters should work perfectly fine. :D
Don't rush me.
 
The following users thanked this post: notthatamanda

RPatton

Re: Dual Point of View Chapter Formatting
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2020, 07:23:57 AM »
Personally, if the povs are easy to distinguish I'd just suggest you have some long and some really short chapters and let it go at that without any distracting differentiation. Readers are savvy and used to all kinds of things. :D It'll take two chapters and then they'll get it and all the rest of the chapters will flow just like they're supposed to. :D

This. If you are really worried, I would suggest using the POV name aligned right and in italics, but the same size as the body text.

For third person, I rarely add the POV. I also use One, Two, Three, Four, and so on for the chapters (third uses Chapter One - no idea why, just something I've taken as a house style). Because I use chapter images in some books, and if I have images that fit the characters, I might alternate chapter images. There are enough way to differentiate chapters with the chapter headings that you shouldn't have to touch the formatting. Readers will read past chapter headings, they won't read past weird body formatting.
 
The following users thanked this post: notthatamanda

notthatamanda

Re: Dual Point of View Chapter Formatting
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 07:38:43 AM »
Thanks everyone. I'm just going to keep the format the same between chapters. I was religious about alternating POV and hopefully my characters are written so obviously different even in first person it won't be a problem.
 

j tanner

Re: Dual Point of View Chapter Formatting
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2020, 06:26:04 PM »
Consider a different glyph under the chapter number for each character.

The brick to the head version would be the male and female glyphs, but you can be a lot more subtle than that. A small signal that things have changed can help, particularly in alternating POV first person.
 
The following users thanked this post: notthatamanda

Crystal

Re: Dual Point of View Chapter Formatting
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2020, 05:56:56 AM »
Make the POV character's name the subtitle.

I like using different headers for each character as well. I don't do it as often as I'd like--it's hard enough finding one vector I like--but it is a fun way to signify "this is the POV character."
 
The following users thanked this post: notthatamanda