Switching POVs

#writetip. I find reading novels with multiple POVs entertaining and enjoyable. So what’s the trick to writing multiple POVs. As usual, this is only my opinion, so here’s what I think.

If you’re going to have multiple POVs in your novel, it’s important to let your reader know this early on in the story.

I could be jarring for a reader to get half way through a novel, and the POV is ripped from underneath their feet and a new character steps in.

Changing POVs in the first few chapters will warn the reader this is your style and hopefully they’ll enjoy your book more. They’ll expect different characters to have their say, to drive the novel, and to provide surprises. They won’t get so attached to one POV that they can’t bear the change and toss the novel aside.

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6 thoughts on “Switching POVs

  1. Oh, great point. I knew a series where the first three book were from one point of view and then the forth book suddenly we were getting other POVs. It always jarred me. Hm. Must consider this.

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  2. The trick is getting the reader to take the time to read the first couple POVs without thinking it’s too confusing. There are times when I don’t like the fact that I have read one chapter with one character, then the next one is someone else – I’ve already bought into the first one. But I’ve read enough now to keep with it to see if it will all gel. And that’s the key for me. It has to start gelling pretty quickly after introducing all the POVs, otherwise, I feel like I’m reading short stories that aren’t connected.

    It also seems like this is being used more often than it used to. Can anyone think of an “older” book that did this? I know Jodi Picoult does it often; I think it was her books that were the first place I ran into it.

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    1. I am reading THRONE right now. It is strictly in two POVs. It alternates by chapter between the two characters. Problem is, I was 16% through the novel, and completely confused, before I even realized that it was two separate characters. (Their names were too similar to me) Now that I “get it” the novel is really good. The up-front confused me too much, though.

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