How to write multiple POVs
Hey guys, it’s been a really long time since I last posted but I’m finally back with a new post. And hopefully I’ll be posting fairly regularly now!
Today we are going to talk about writing multiple POVs. I love reading stories with multiple POV’s, it’s so much fun to read and adds more depth to the story. A significant advantage of this is that your reader isn’t stuck in your main characters head space too long. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, but if your character gets annoying, it could be a refreshing change.
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Okay, now let’s get into the tips!
1. Don’t overdo it
Let’s start off with something that may feel obvious to a lot of you, but this is a mistake I’ve seen done a lot. Multiple POV’s are so amazing but you cannot overdo it. What I mean here is writing a lot of main characters with their own point of view. There’s nothing wrong with writing many points of views like six or seven. There are some amazing books that pull this off very well but it’s also very easy to mess up.
In some books with a lot of point of views you risk the characters become a muddled mess. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of difference between these characters (which we’ll talk about more in the second point). And there are a lot of storylines to keep up with, especially if they are all in different places.
That being said books like six of crows pull this off really well but I recommend you keeping the point of view’s to a minimum. Does your story need to be told in all the point of views you wrote/ are planning? If the answer is no, you know what to do. And if the answer is yes, the next point is going to be very helpful to you!
2. Character voice
What is character voice you ask? It’s exactly as it sounds. It’s your character's unique voice, and this becomes important especially in multiple point of views. If you’re writing a story from only one character's point of view, then character voice mostly shows up in dialogue.
If you are writing multiple point of views, you probably have chapter headings for each of your characters. But this probably shouldn’t be the only way for your reader to tell your characters apart.
This could be a certain habit they have or the way they see the world. Some could have a more optimistic view and others a more pessimistic one. Your characters day job could also affect the point of view. A writer might look at things or people and want to add them into their writing.
But this also includes dialogue. They may have certain phrases or words they use a lot. Or certain references they make, like ones related to music or books.
This can help to create tone shifts in writing and easier for your readers to distinguish characters.
3. Shift POV’s ONLY when you need to
In the first point we talked about how you shouldn’t overdo it with too many pov characters. Now we are going to talk about how much we need to see them. In most books these are balanced but they don’t always have to be. Your reader needs to see the character's point of view only when they absolutely need to.
You don’t have to spread out the point of views just because you think you have to. There is no right or wrong in writing. Unless it’s grammar in which case they're probably is a right and wrong.
Include other point of views when your reader NEEDS to see them. Like if something happens to the main character or if they are in different places and we need to know what’s going on everywhere.
4. Main character
In multiple point of views, you usually have multiple important characters. That being said, most of the time there is one more important character. This isn’t always the case but in most of the stories I’ve read this is the case. But how do you know exactly who’s story it is?
That’s actually quite easy. Your side characters' stories probably revolve around the main character. Even if they all have pretty much equal amount of chapters, one character is probably more important than the other.
In the lunar chronicles we have a wonderful blend of point of views. But each book is named after a character who’s story we focus on. But as the books go on, it becomes more even.
Links for some videos and blog posts you can check out
That’s all I have for you today! I hope this post helped you and if it hit the heart button and drop a comment and let me know what your favorite story with multiple point of views is! And another reminder to subscribe to my website because along with the awesome character profile you will also get notified every time I post!