Choosing POV: A New Writer’s Journey Through Rewrites

I’m a novice, I confess. While I’ve dabbled with writing since I was a kid, it wasn’t until recent years that I really put some effort into it. Even then my biggest goal was simply typing The End. Those were the most wonderful words to write. Then I learned some things. A lot of things. Things that make me itch the “fix” the previous sentence. My brain’s screaming “Active Tense!”

Sometimes all the knowledge that gets thrown at us as new writers is overwhelming. It can feel like slogging through sinking sand when you pick up your manuscript to… dun dun dun… revise it. From ironing out kinks in plot to completely restructuring, and then slashing big red X’s through entire pages of your novel.

Now, the elusive The End that I had quested for turns out to be just the f***ing beginning. I’ve fleshed out characters, given them pages and pages of lives that will never reach the final draft. I’ve busted up my plot until I know it better than myself.

One thing keeps nagging me going forward: POV. Naturally I’ve always written 3rd person limited. Then I played around with a 1st person limited novella. But how do you choose which will best suit your story? Is it okay to have two different 1st person POV’s? Because that seems unnatural to write for me. Is is okay for me to turn the dial on my character introspection? How deep is too deep?

Then there is past tense vs present tense. I’ve naturally always used past, but I have to admit there is something about present tense that I find alluring. What do you prefer to write vs what you prefer to read? How do you choose what tense and POV you will use? Is it natural? Do you change it up? Alter a couple scenes and decide?

Here is a big one, how many differing POV’s are just too damn much?