Sunday, September 20, 2009

Point of View - Whose

Point of View or POV as we shorten it to, is a complicated matter at times.

First...let's take about POV as it relates to character. The best way to figure out whose POV the story should be told in is to decide who has the biggest stake in the story.

Whether it's the most to lose, most to gain or most interesting story, who will be telling the story is an important decision.

This is something you really can't decide until you get some plotting done. You need to know at least a basic idea of the story and what's going to happen. It doesn't have to be a complete outline, but if you don't know the stakes, you can't know who should be telling the story.

Most of the time, once you get some idea of the story this is fairly obvious. But sometimes, another character may be more interesting or more fun to write.

Another thing to think about is how many characters you want telling the story and what each of them bring to the table.

I once read a novel by a best selling writer that had about ten different POV characters. By the time I got connected with one and into their story, he switched POVs and started with another character. It was seriously annoying.

So, how many POV characters do you like to work with? How many do you think is too many?

Be sure to scroll back to the post on Reliability Buddies and if you'd like to take part, leave a note in the comments. I'll give everyone at least a week or so before doing anything with those interested.

And last of all, be sure to set your daily word count goals but make sure they aren't out of reach. You want to be challenged, but not overwhelmed.

Have a great week and write well!:-)


  1. You know what I find challenging is that romance novels just switch POV in the middle of things. First you're in her head, then you're in his. Totally disconcerting.

    For my first novel--you know, the one I don't like to talk about--we tried it from 3 POV's because there are three sisters. I don't think it works. It either has to be third person omni or told from one sister's perspective. Bummer that I waited until the first draft was finished to realize that, but I'm sure I'm right.


  2. I can't stand those head hopping novels. It drives me crazy. My oldest daughter doesn't like 'em either.

    It's just seriously annoying to have to stop, go back and reread to figure out who's head you're in.

    I have to say first NaNo novel is a pov shifting masterpiece.:-) I switched in the middle of scenes, middle of chapters and just where ever I felt like it. And while I LOVE the story, it's a revision nightmare. I've decided to tackle it though and get it right. The story's too good to just let sit on a flashdrive.

    You'll get your's revised one of these days too.:-)

  3. I think that's why I'm not a fan of stream of consciousness. When I reread something, I want it to because it was fun, not because I need to make sense out of it. Not that it can't work, it's just hard to pull off.