I’ve been tearing apart and redoing the beginning of Hierarchy, and far from being discouraged, I was thrilled when I came up with a perfect line that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been redoing the opening. It’s hard to have a smooth beginning to a complicated book. Hierarchy is a dystopia (opposite of utopia, so instead of the world being wonderful, it’s pretty terrible.)
This novel is told from the perspective of four characters in strict order. It was tricky to write that way, and even trickier when I needed to add a scene for one of the characters since I had to add a scene for each of the other three characters, and keep within the time limit before the next scene started. I doubt I’ll ever write one in strict order again. I often write novels that have two point of view characters bouncing back and forth, but four? Too complicated. Hopefully not complicated to read, but complicated to write, and revise, and revise some more.
But, as usual, I learned a lot in the process. I’m also thinking that it isn’t so important to have equal time between different POV characters. But I still think that starting a book with one POV and keeping with one POV for several chapters, or even half the book, and then introducing other POV characters is very jarring. I realize that published books, even books that win awards, do this. But I don’t like it. It feels like I’ve been cheated, promised one type of book, then had the rug pulled out from under me. I don’t like that feeling. Either people do, or they don’t notice that the POV character changed, as in they’re not really connecting with the character. Possible, I guess.