Yet another week working on one scene. A different scene than last week, of course. In the course of writing it, I found myself doing something that is a perfect example of how first drafts are allowed to suck. Because not all sucking is created equal.
In the scene, the POV character comes upon a second character who is hiding out and asks him what happened. At which point, the character in hiding relays the story of what motivated him to go into hiding in the first place, which was frightening and unnerving, but not nearly as frightening and unnerving as it would have been if the reader had had the opportunity to be in that moment with the character, instead of hearing about it second-hand.
So if that moment remains part of the story into the second draft, I can add it in as its own scene then. One thing I really do need to reconsider is the number of POV characters I have. In my first novel, I used as many POV characters as I needed to tell the story. This time around, I got scared into keeping it down to four, and I find that rather constraining to my story-telling style/voice.
It’s possible I have just chosen the wrong four, but I picked them on purpose because some POVs are too knowledgeable and therefore too revealing of the bits of the story I want to reveal slowly. This need to unravel the mystery slowly is proving to be a challenge for me, because I don’t want to be a “cheat” as a writer and have characters keep things from the reader for no good reason other than “the reader can’t know that yet OMG.” For a reader, that’s very annoying, and very transparent, and very condescending. In some places, I have actually rethought the characters from my original conception of them to make them less knowledgeable than they were before so the awkwardness of keeping things from other characters doesn’t arise.