Essential Tips for Writing Multiple POV Novels

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Essential Tips for Writing Multiple POV Novels

Have you ever read a novel that follows the story of multiple characters at the same time? If you were reading those with an analytical perspective, you would’ve noticed that the main highlight of the story is the difference in characters itself. Unlike traditional books that follow the story of a single character, multiple POV novels allow readers to view the same situations from different standpoints and adds a much greater depth to the story than before. The inclusion of various characters adds an element of realism to the book, and that makes it more relatable for a greater number of readers.

As amazing as these novels are, it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea to write multiple POV novels. Ask any author that has written a single POV book, and you would be surprised to hear the challenges of explaining a story, all while developing the main protagonist at the same time. There needs to be a symmetry between progressing a story and developing the characters. If the scales tip a little too much on the story side, then the character seems detached and inhuman. Conversely, if the balances shifts towards the character, the story leaves holes and appears hollow. There is a fine margin that needs to be aimed to write a successful novel, and that is just for a single POV.

For a vast majority of writers, a multiple POV novel is a higher-level task to execute. It isn’t simple to craft a story that can be told from different perspectives, and that too while developing the characters individually. Consequently, there should be a point of convergence in perspectives, which forms the crux of the story. The absence of a convergence point will simply confuse readers and make it feel like reading different stories. Each character needs to be distinct in their own regard but must be a piece of the same giant puzzle.

Do you even need multiple POVs in the first place?

This is a problem that you need to solve yourself before you write these novels. If you feel that your story can be explained well enough in a single perspective, an additional view might detract from the original premise. Sometimes, it is best to leave your story at a single level than to add things to complicate them. For a simple storyline, there really is no need for you to add more perspectives, especially if it’s if a linear variety. In case your story is branched, or needs clarification that cannot be achieved otherwise, only then can you proceed to add multiple perspectives.

If a character isn’t adding any flavour to the story, adding another perspective to the mix would just be a hassle. Instead of adding another viewpoint, it would be a lot better if a side character were to be introduced and have them work their way into the protagonist’s storyline. That way, you will have a single plotline that goes throughout the story, with the only interruption being the switchover. This results in a smooth transition, and you get that multiple perspectives you’re looking for.

However, that might not always be available to you. A true multiple POV novel would contain a different storyline for each character and feature a single setting that all said characters are a part of. It would lead to the formation of a bridging story that would shift at the perfect time to the other characters to add depth to the story.  

By now, you might have realized that writing a multiple POV novel would take some effort and hard work. However, just as quickly you can get Dissertation Editing Services online, the following points would enable you to write multiple POV novels in no time.

Create unique characters

From a creativity standpoint, creating personalities that shine in their own regards is a remarkable challenge. In this sense, a multiple POV novel would be a tricky task to execute, especially as all the characters you write need to have their own distinct personalities. The way your character sees the world around them is a defining characteristic, which needs to be filled in by the author. For development, there needs to be a series of events that shape the views of the character, and in this case, their perspectives need to be tailored to work with the other characters.

You can play around with variances in emotions, logic, and personality, to define your character’s identity. There needs to be a centre of connection that needs to be established between the character and reader, which is accomplished by adding in human traits on multiple levels. Alternatively, fictional issues in fictional worlds are also acceptable, as long as there is a marked difference in the characters themselves.

Make the switch easily identifiable

Reading a multiple POV novel needs to feel like looking at the same story with a different perspective. We really emphasize the perspective part, as you definitely do not want to confuse your readers as to which character is in play. The point in your story where you switch to the other character needs to be pronounced and should leave nothing to the reader’s imagination. Every novel features character development, and any confusion as to which character is being developed is inevitably going to be confusing. This might be hard to achieve, especially for inexperienced writers, but there are a few ways this can be mitigated.

Firstly, you can arrange these switches to take place towards the end of chapters and scenes. There is a natural void that remains after all conclusions, which can be used to your benefit. Alternatively, you can also start each chapter off by the name of the character in question. A subtle way you can do that is by labelling each chapter with the name of the character featured.

Avoid repeating scenes between characters

Creating new environments for each of your characters might be difficult, but it is no excuse for repeating scenes for multiple characters. In some instances, this might be a great addition to a story, particularly if a crucial moment in the plot needs to be explained through multiple perspectives. However, it needs to be avoided as it takes away from the immersion of the story. It tends to mess up the timeline of your story and leads to inconsistencies and reader disturbance.

A solution to this issue is to add in the details of the scene in a different chapter for the other character. This will allow the character to shine in their own light, and let readers figure out the connection for themselves.

Behave like a director

A good novel is like a good movie, in which the only difference is the medium it’s presented in. You might have watched a movie or two based around multiple characters, and that might be your motivation for writing a novel of the same nature. In that case, it is best to adopt some of the principles used by directors and use them to your advantage.

Before writing, it helps to visualize the scene and look for any irregularities. There needs to be an image present in your mind for specific scenes that need to be showcased perfectly.  

By | 2019-11-13T11:10:16+00:00 November 13th, 2019|Novels Writing|0 Comments

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