Posted in ideas, writing

Multiple POV Novels

So far, all of the books I’ve written have been in first person POV and have had multiple  narrators.

All of them and I didn’t even plan it that way.

My 5th book (which I haven’t started yet. Hopefully this fall) will be written with two narrators. The 6th one, I’m going to try just one.. but we’ll see.

The first book of my trilogy, and my stand alone, I only wanted one narrator for each. I actually got several chapters in before I realized there was just SO much going on that they didn’t see. I needed another person to help tell the story.

And every time, it’s worked out so well.

In fact, the second and third books of my trilogy, both books have five narrators. Yeah, five. I knew I was going to add one, and then a second person because there was a few scenes I needed that no could character was witnessing. Then this third person almost demanded she be added.

(I won’t lie. These blogs will be a lot easier to talk about when my books are actually published and y’all understand what I’m talking about *whacked*)

But I’ve learned a lot when writing this way. I feel it kinda adds to the idea, there’s always two sides to a story. I feel like very rarely, one person can not tell a complete story by them self.

The downside to this, is a few people have beta read and said it can get very confusing switching back and forth between characters. I try to keep this straight by each chapter is named by whoever is the narrator. I know some people skip this, but hey. It’s what I can do.

I also do attempt to write each one differently. For instant, my first book has two narrators, they’re siblings, a fifteen year old girl and her twenty-five year old brother. The brother has been collage and is a lawyer. The girl is still in high school.

Because of this age and education difference, I really tried to let that show in my book. He uses bigger words then she does, she uses more slang. I hope these little verbal clues help show the audience each of their personalities.

I think the hardest thing for me when writing like this is deciding sometimes who’s character it is. In the one I’m currently writing, there’s a scene where four of the narrators are together (with a few non pov characters) having a meeting. I talked about this scene earlier in my discussion about floating heads.

What made it hard was deciding who would tell us what’s going on. Honestly, I made a decision and looking back, I think I made the wrong one. I’m still going to think about it for a bit, but I believe I’m going to rewrite it from another person’s pov.

However, even with this difficulties, I still love writing this way. I’ve very rarely done two scenes twice, most of the time I feel it isn’t needed. But I adore getting into everyone’s head and really seeing all sides of a story.

It’s not for everyone, but it sure works for me.

How do you write?







Hi, I'm Ames! Welcome to my blog. About me Female Favorite foods: Apples, fried chicken and grilled cheese sandwiches. Hobbies: Traveling, reading, learning languages, writing and cooking. Favorite TV show: Big Bang theory. Hopes for this blog: People I don't personally know read my blog.

2 thoughts on “Multiple POV Novels

  1. I understand needing to write this way. In my second book that I wrote, I had two first person points of view, and the sequel to that book will probably have three. It’s a very interesting way to write, and I find myself as a writer or reader engaged by the different voices.

    Now, as far as being confused: I’ve seen that handled in several different ways. One book series used a different font for each person’s perspective. That was interesting, but cannot be done while writing a manuscript. It is a stylistic choice that you can discuss with your publisher.
    Other books that I have read placed the name of the narrator at the start of each chapter. This was also helpful. Looking over your approach, it seems that you do this.
    There have been books that do neither of these things, and simply rely on the voice. This is a fine approach, but keep in mind that there are other options.

    Quite frankly, I find it easier to switch viewpoints in third person, as my current main WIP does. This approach isn’t as fun, though.

    One word of warning, though: I once tried to write a story with too many different narrators. It was too difficult to make myself care about each one. I could probably do a better job of it now, but it is a serious problem. If you split a book up among several characters, it gives you less of a window to make the reader care. The reader has to care about all of them.

    Excellent thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really great take on this. I’ve seen the fronts (which if I get can get these things to a publisher, I will talk to them about doing.) Right now, I’m putting names at the beginning of the chapter.

      Yeah, I would agree on it’s best not to have too many. My books with five were originally only supposed to be four, but the 5th practically shoved her way in there. She had too much story to tell and refused to keep it to herself.


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