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.