This topic is a little shaky. At least, trying from the Pursuer POV was tough. The reason is because you see the opposite more often. A chase tends to happen when the protagonist needs to escape. So, readers will be more accustomed to this POV. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but an author may be more comfortable here.
- The Pursued doesn’t usually know what is coming. While they may sense that they are being herded into a trap, it doesn’t mean they know the specifics. Surprises can still happen and probably should. A clean escape can be boring, so the unknown can be a great source of tension. For example, a retreating hero may know that they are heading for more enemies. They may be ready, but they don’t know the type and amount. So, they barrel into the area to find that it’s worse than they imagined.
- While the Pursuer is focused on catching, the Pursued is fixated on getting away. This comes with a sense of fear, panic, or tension. There is never a guarantee that they will escape even if they’re confident. A part of them or a character along for the ride may sense this, so there should be signs of negative emotions. Even if they are remaining calm, there needs to be something to show that they are not in control.
- The Pursued doesn’t have to be calm. They can be the type of character to panic and just go rushing wherever they think they’ll be safe. This can make the POV fast-paced and make the scene feel rushed in a good way. The character is trying to get away as quickly as possible after all. Panicking can also make them do the unexpected, which extends chase scenes in a believable manner. A wrong turn that the Pursuers ignored because it was a bad move can turn into a game changer.
- As long as the Pursued isn’t trying to sneak away, you can use dialogue to demonstrate how they are feeling. If this involves a group then arguing and conflicting directions can add to the chaos. These actions can lead to mistakes as well because they count as distractions, which are more likely on this side of the action.
- Knowing the terrain is an important factor when it comes to the mentality of the POV character. If the Pursued knows the area then they are less likely to make mistakes or freak out. If they don’t then they are going to be flying blind and are more likely to make a mess of the situation. Even if they don’t know it, a character with a map or a GPS can make the chase interesting.
- The POV character can reach a level of desperation that leads a crazy stunt. Jumping off a building or diving into an open manhole are possibilities. Wilderness terrains have waterfalls, cliffs, and caves. It’s a move that they feel their Pursuers would never dream of taking. Of course, you can’t do this right off the bat. These moves work better as acts of desperation that typically end the chase.
- Tension and suspense. Just like the Pursuer, you need this two things to really make the POV work.