Friday, May 11, 2012

Point of View Problem

The original title of this post was "How Many People Can Live In My Head Before My Brain Bursts" but I figured that was too long.

As I get cracking on this new novel (don't even ask about the other one,) I find myself struggling with POV. I told myself I was going to stick with one POV. I wanted something more streamlined, more focused than my usual mess of two, three or more (yes, more!) POV characters. Now, Character A was all set - she was my one and only . . . until Character B decided he wanted to tell his story. (Okay, it's really me who wants to tell his story but whatever.) And don't get me started on Character C. 

Could Character B's and Character C's stories come out through my original POV character? Sure. Is that the best way for the novel to unfold? I don't know.

I'm concerned I'm falling back into my usual way of doing things - too many POV characters - because it's easier, meaning comfortable. (And really, it hasn't worked all that well for me so far - do you see a novel with my name on it anywhere?) I want the story to be told in the best way possible and right now, I'm just not sure what that is.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Any suggestions or advice for deciding who your POV character is or how many you'll have?

As a reader, do you prefer one POV or more? I don't really have a preference as a reader but I will say that with multiple POVs, I usually find myself "liking" one of the characters better than the others, looking ahead to that character's chapter, etc.

Thanks in advance for all your help! 


  1. I actually like the title, "How Many people can live in my head before my brain bursts..."

    :) So I can tell you that I will be absolutely NO help with a POV problem...;)

  2. Lisa - ha! And I thought I wasn't good with titles. :)

  3. POV decisions are challenging. I always ask myself two questions. First, which character has the most at stake? Second, who has the bigger secret to try to keep hidden? Usually one of those answers helps with whose head I should be in. Don't know if that helps, but that's how I approach it.

  4. Stacy - those are two great questions to ask! Thanks for sharing. I always ask myself, whose story is it? The problem is, though, that more than one character usually speaks up. :)