POVs

I'm sure I've blogged about POV characters before somewhere on this blog, but hey! This thing's been around for ten years, so who even knows anymore?

Anyway, my friend Krystal mentioned in her post this week about POVs in a story. And just last week, I was talking about the Outlander books with my friends and how I didn't like book eight because there were so many POV characters (8 of them, I think) that I was getting confused between them all.

I've kind of settled into a POV groove in my stories over the last few years. I write in third person. Having had perspective and head-hopping issues in my time, I do my hardest to stay in one person's head at a time. Third-person comes much more naturally to me than first-person narrative. It might be because most of the books I read are in third-person. In fact, I read a few first-person POV books this year, including Next Year in Havana and The Hate U Give and I had to be like, "Oh yeah! I forgot you can write in 1st!"

I find first person POV limiting in terms of writing--it's great for the interiority of a character and as a character study, but it's difficult to write other characters and their motivations because everything's filtered through your POV character. 1st is awesome for getting really, really personal with a character.

But I'm used to third-person limited, where we're in close to a character and their perspective and sometimes we dip into their head but we're also like a camera sitting close by, looking at their world and at their people. Most of the books I read have two third-person limited narrators. In romances, those are generally the two protagonists.

I've absolutely been that writer who has four or five planned POVs in a story (needless to say, those stories didn't always get finished). Thing is, there usually has to be a reason for that many point-of-view characters and too many POVs are too many POVs. It's confusing. I'm not writing in omniscient nor am I trying to write a Victorian doorstopper.

It's easier to keep the story moving with fewer point of view characters sometimes.

I have two POVs in the modern strand of the FrankenIdea: Liam and Mina. And I hadn't realized that I hadn't quite settled on how many POVs I wanted for the historical portions of the story until I read Krystal's post.

The answer is one, Vera, so in total, FrankenIdea has three POVs, which is managable. Just enough variety between the three for fun, not so many that it'll make my head hurt.

Comments

  1. I keep pinging back and forth between writing in third person limited and first person, and I can't decide which I like better or which I'm better at. (Assuming I'm any good at all. :P ) It depends on the story and what kind of voice I want the characters to have. That said, regardless of third or first person, I don't think I'd be able to manage more than two POV characters per book!

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    1. I was a much more ambitious writer a few years ago lol "Ambitious" as in "didn't know any better." Not every character needs to have a POV, so three is as far as I'll go, I think. I *think* my Victorian story had three POVs as well, so if I ever revisit that idea, I'll have to think it over. Any more than that and it genuinely gets confusing.

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  2. Yay Frankenidea! Yay for decisions! There definitely needs to be a reason, outside of, "Ooh, a few scenes from the villain's POV would be cool." There were a lot of times back in the early days when I would have extra POVs for no reason. Sometimes they would only have one or two scenes. >.<

    Vera is a great name!

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    1. I don't have a ton of time to think about the FrankenIdea, so while I knew it had two timelines that tie in together, I realized I didn't think about who was narrating one of the parts lol

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