You know how a few days ago, I blogged about how I planned to take a red herring character and turn him into a point of view character? Through his thoughts, the reader would learn he wasn’t guilty, which would remove that source of tension, but they’d gain more sympathy for him and things wouldn’t seem so bleak for the heroine because here was a guy the reader knew she could trust.
So much for that plan. I tried writing a scene from his POV. I got maybe half a page into it and it just wasn’t working. I mean, he’s a nice guy and all, but switching into his head wasn’t adding much to the story. For a scene to carry its weight, it needs to advance the plot, and this scene was feeling like repetition, not plot advancement. What could we learn from getting into his head here? He’s interested in the heroine—well, we already figured that out when he approached her in her POV scene. He’s frustrated and angry over unfair accusations of guilt? Already got that too, when he was talking to the heroine. The only difference would be that now, since we’re in his head, we could find out that he wasn’t lying to the heroine; he really is innocent. But now that just didn’t feel like enough of a gain to justify dipping into his POV. Moral of the story: not all ideas that seem like good ideas at the time end up working out.
In this particular situation, I think there are two good choices: 1--get out of his head, go back to plan A, and just use external actions to make him sympathetic (while he remains slightly suspicious) or 2—come up with some new, exciting, plot-advancing information that the reader learns from being in his POV.
If I brainstormed long enough, maybe I could come up with something for choice number two. It’s an interesting thought—what does he know that would add a new thread to the story and give the reader plot-advancing information she didn’t have before and that she couldn’t learn better from another POV character? But right now, I’m going with choice 1: revoke his point of view license and let him be a red herring again. Back to the fish pond, dude.