Suggestions for the same scene with different POV?

Two of the books I have planned have scenes they share. Each book is narrated by a different character, but sometimes the time and space of both characters overlap, so I have scenes that repeat in one book and the other. Both characters are very different and I think it’s interesting to see the same scene from both points of view, even if you know what’s going to happen.
The point is, when it comes to writing these ‘duplicate’ scenes, what is the best way to do it, especially to make sure that the dialogue and what happens is the same? I know I can put both scenes with split view in the editor, but I can’t think of another way to make it a more comfortable process. any suggestions?


That’s pretty optimal.

I mean, you could put one in a quick reference window, but I don’t see what good it would do. (Would likely be even less convenient, if you ask me.)

If you don’t want to constantly split / unsplit as you navigate to other documents, use a document bookmark. Bookmark one scene in the other, both ways, and whenever you work on one of those two scenes, you’ll be able to see the other one in the inspector. (You can even edit the scene in the inspector directly.)

You could duplicate the scene document and then edit the duplicate as needed.

Well, yeah, there’s that.
In that case, if that’s more like the answer you were looking for, I’d say don’t bother with the second scene until you are happy with the first one.
(In my previous post I took for granted that both scenes already exist, and that it is only a matter of navigation and/or screen space usage.)

Oh, yeah, that’s a great idea specially for when I want to make small changes. Thanks!

Some of them are written already, some of them are not, so depends on the case.

that’s a good idea too, my problem is that I’m a bit of a perfectionist (I think it’s something all of us writers suffer from) and I constantly want to improve things in my scenes, so I would need to go through both duplicate scenes several times anyway.

Something to consider: you as the author will read both versions at approximately the same time. The readers won’t, and in fact may not read the “other” book at all. Plus different POV characters will necessarily have different experiences of the scenes (otherwise why bother with different points of view?). So from the readers’ point of view, it’s more important that each scene be true to the POV character and work in the context of the current book than that they “match” exactly. You obviously don’t want to introduce glaring continuity errors (unless resolving them is part of the plot), but I don’t think you don’t need to be too concerned that the events and dialogue match exactly.


No one ever remembers things the same way. (Can’t even pass on a message without it being all distorted in the end…)

I think @kewms advice is a very valuable one.

Yes, of course my priority is that the scene works and makes full sense in that book without needing to read the other one. However, like I said, I’m a perfectionist, and I do want them to match exactly (specially in cases where the focus is when the two POV characters interact). These duplicate scenes are a big deal in all of my projects, since everything I write is set in the same world and characters who have books (meaning: books about them) interact often. That’s why I worry about this detail, I want to do it right, I don’t want to overlook it.

You could by a couple of manipulations have a snapshot of a scene in the other one’s document.
That would allow you to use the compare function, which would reveal whatever is different between the two.
Is it worth it ? I don’t know.

And there are third party apps that are designed so that you can compare two documents. Likely it’d be more convenient than the snapshots comparison feature in this case. (?)

I could try the snapshots in some instances, like dialogues, yes, though in most cases I’m not sure if it’s worth it.
And, regarding the apps for comparing, do you know of any? I’ll search for some, but if you have recommendations, please let me know :heart:
Considering that dialogues are the same, the events are pretty much the same (usually) and thoughts are completely different, I’ll have to think on how to use those apps for this, but it’s a good idea regardless! so thanks! :blush:

Personally I don’t know any of those apps (I never felt the need). But they have been discussed here and there on these forums.

MS Word can do that in the Review tab, Compare Category.

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Dialogues could be the same, so you can put them in separate documents and use the <$Include> Placeholder.

But dialogue tags might be different…