Thursday, May 18, 2017

Your Turn: One vs. Many (Laurie)

In her last Your Turn post, Lizzie raised the interesting question of which point of view readers prefer, and it led to some fun discussion (if you missed it, check it out here). Today, I want to ponder a related topic...

I'm in the midst of reading the second book in a series. The first novel was almost exclusively told from one character's POV, but while that character is still the primary POV in the sequel, quite a few chapters are told from another character's perspective. I understand the necessity for the shift based on the direction the events have taken, but I'm not enjoying this book as much as the first. There are certainly additional factors at work, but I think a big part of it is that I'm not as engrossed in the story because of all the jumps into this other character's mind, whose voice I don't enjoy nearly as much. Books written from multiple POVs can definitely be very well-done, but the change in this series has made me realize that I prefer stories told from one character's POV because it allows me to really experience the events and emotions fully connected with that one character.

So how about YOU? Do you have a preference between stories told from one character's POV versus multiple characters' perspectives? If you enjoy multiple POVs, is there a point at which too many characters' perspectives have been introduced? If you're a writer, which approach do you tend to use?

Thanks for reading!


  1. As a writer, I can tell you it's a heck of a lot easier to write in a single POV! Okay, I take that back. It can be hard to convey all the information you need to when writing in a single POV, but it does take a lot of work to develop two or more distinct character voices and weave their stories, goals, and character arcs together into a cohesive story of reasonable length. This is a skill I've been struggling to learn in my last two books, and they only have two POVs each.

    But back to your true question, so many inspiration romances (like Karen Witemyer and Melanie Dickerson) write from two POVs that I've gotten used to it. I've read other books with multiple POVs that work well, but I prefer to have "met" that person in an earlier scene before jumping into their POV. So it really depends on how well it's done. However, I had a similar experience to yours in that I enjoyed book 1 (Cinder of The Lunar Chronicles) and wanted to continue with that story, but in book 2, was introduced to another POV character I didn't like as well. There are a bunch of books in that series, and if she keeps adding POVs for every one, that's a lot of POVs!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Lizzie! I have yet to try writing a book with multiple POV characters, but I can definitely see how it would be tough to weave the narratives together and get the pacing and flow right. I haven't read as much romance lately, but the two POVs is definitely very common in that genre! That's good to know about the Lunar Chronicles, I've had those books on my TBR list for ages!


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