How to write from more than one point of view.

This is my third and last post I’m writing for my POV series. IMG_5287
My other two post included writing from a female POV and writing from a male POV.

Writing from multiple points of view is considered difficult and is frowned upon if you do it wrong.
It is still very rewarding if you can pull it off though.

Things to consider before writing your novel from multiple points of view.

• Is your plot made for more than one view point?
There is basically 2 ways to go about writing from different points of view’s, you either write one sequence of events from the point of views of different characters or you write multiple pieces of the story and then bring them together.
I have used both of those methods before and I think I prefer the later one but I suggest you experiment until you know what’s best for you and your story.

• How many POV characters are you going to be using?
How many POV characters you will need depends on your story. Some stories need a wide cast of POV character’s while other simply need two or three.
If you are new to writing from more than one POV then I suggest using no more than 3 point of view characters.

• Which characters are meant to be POV characters?
You probably have a pretty good idea of who you want to have as your POV characters but just go over them again. Who is interesting? Who would be able to tell this story the best?
Planning stage.

• Different voices.
Each point of view character should sound different.
Your aim should be that they are so different that your reader would know whose head they are in even if you don’t mention the name.
Know your characters. Let them walk of the page and most importantly make them different from your other POV characters.
To practice this beforehand you can write down a few basic traits of each character then write a short paragraph from each of their points of view.

• Scenes
Ask yourself this before every scene. From whose point of view would this be the most interesting?
If you are unsure write the scene from each of the possible points of view and just pick one.

• Focusing tension.
Alright so your tension is often focused around your main character.
So now there is the problem of your other POV characters are left with nothing to do.
Make sure that you don’t wrap all the tension around just one of you POV characters but instead giving each of them their own battles to fight.
Ask what does your character’s want and what is standing in their way. Give them each their own personal reasons for doing what they do.

Now let’s write.

The worst thing you can possibly do when you are writing from multiple character POV’s is to not make the change clear when you switch to a different point of view. So the first thing you must practice is making the change clear.

• You need a chapter break. Never ever switch point of view characters without a chapter break unless you want people confused and angry.
• Mention in who’s head you are now. Put the name of your POV character in the first sentence of a scene if not the first then the second.
• As I said earlier your character’s “voices” need to be different. You need to make it clear in your writing itself that it’s someone else.

Last thing I want to say is when you write from multiple POV’s then please for the love of great books everywhere write in third person.

 

Do you have any experience in writing from multiple points of view? Is there anything you think should be done differently from how I do it? I want to hear how you view the matter. (Pun not intended.)

4 comments

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  1. Elissaveta

    Nice post. The novel I’m working on is a multiple POV story and I agree with all of your tips but… can I dare to question your very last point about 1st person VS 3rd person? Why do you condemn 1st person?
    I don’t know, I have a certain preference for it. I write from both sides of course but I like 1st person when I really want to get into my character’s head or when I want to keep certain things hidden from the reader (i.e. the reader will only know my character’s truth which isn’t necessarily the actual truth)
    I like to think that – if done well, of course – a chapter or two in 1st person aren’t going to hurt the story. Am I wrong?

    Like

    • enetteventer

      You are not wrong but it will have to be done well.
      The saying goes you have to know the writing rules before you can break them.
      The reason I say you should write in 3rd is because if you write in 1st while writing from multiple point’s of view it can end up confusing.
      So yes you can write in 1st, but to anyone who is new to writing from more then one POV I recommend 3rd person because the chances of it being confusing that way is far less.
      Your way of writing sounds really cool though.

      Like

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