Do you have any methods or tips on planning a multiple POV novel? I was looking at your 10-step model and was wondering if you have anything similar for 2+ characters. Do each of them get 10 steps, or do the 10 steps have to cover all?
I didn’t create the 10-point plot model, only use it for my own writings, so I’m not sure of the creator’s intentions (I’m not even sure who created it at all, since it was a handout in school ages ago with no attribution). I tend to use it for overall plot of an entire book. It’s not meant to be all-inclusive for every single plot moment that will occur, but rather it’s meant as a general outline to then build up further. It’s a starting point.
That said, I have used simplified versions of it for shorter stories and character arcs as well, so take a look toward the middle/bottom of that article for a glimpse into that process. If the 10-point plot model appeals to you, there are ways to modify it to fit multiple POV narratives.
Start first by looking at each of the characters in turn and mapping out their stories, even if you don’t intend for all of it to get on-screen. This also includes mapping out plot events that are common to more than one character’s progression.
You could certainly do 10-points for each of them, but unless several of the more major events are going to cross over, then you might instead think about reducing it to five- or seven-point plots. Every arc is going to have a beginning, middle, and end, and within that, there will always be a climax of some kind. (Remember that climaxes don’t have to be BIG, like battles. Climaxes can be small and still be meaningful.)
Perhaps something like this:
Now, obviously these are subjective and you can tweak things for what the story needs, particularly in terms of pacing.
You might choose to have one for each character and each line runs parallel to the others, or you might choose to mesh them together into one larger 15- or 20-point model.
Remember: You can put as many or as few scenes in these boxes as you want. As much or as little time can pass between these blocks as you need. The boxes can be used for one character or three. They don’t have to be rigid.
There isn’t really a good way to lay out one definitive point model that any multiple-POV narrative could use because the pacing for those kinds of stories tends to vary widely. When it’s important to have a scene from one character versus another character is very dependent upon what each of those characters is going through, what’s important to the overall story you’re trying to tell, and how you want it to progress.
I have my 10-point plot model up on a wall with post-it notes that I move around a lot before deciding on an order of events for a story. For a multiple-POV narrative using these models, I imagine it would be much the same. Lots of mushing together and pulling apart, and mushing together again in a slightly different arrangement until you get the overall arc of the book and the beats of the individual character arcs to feel right when you’re telling yourself the story in your mind.
I know that didn’t really answer your question much, but I hope you’re willing to cultivate some patience and try to figure out whether these work best for you, or if another model will be better. It takes time to figure out what works for the type of story you’re telling because nothing is a one-size-fits-all method.
In Donkey Kong Country Returns, one of Donkey Kong’s idle animations is taking out a Nintendo DS and playing it. Viewing Donkey Kong’s model from another angle, we can see that the Nintendo DS is not turned on.