Is It Good To Write Using Multiple Points of View?

By on March 13, 2019
Is It Good To Write Using Multiple Points of View? - Writer's Life.org

When you start to write your book, one of the things you will have to decide upon is whose point of view you wish to tell the story from.

One narrative device that can be used to significant effect is to tell the story from more than one point of view. This means that instead of having one protagonist who the reader follows as the story unravels, the point of view switches to give the reader different perspectives and allows them to join the journeys of many different characters instead.

Done well, using multiple points of view can be an excellent way to give your story more depth and allows your reader to get to know more of your characters. However, poorly done and multiple points of view can end up confusing the reader, or making it difficult for them to follow what is happening. In the worse instances, they end up not caring about any of the characters in your story and giving up on your book altogether.

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of using different points of view.

Advantages

The reader can see the world through more than one character's eyes which can make for a richer, more exciting story.

It can add complexity to your novel, as seeing the different perspectives of each character can play with our emotions, empathy, and trust.

It opens our eyes to people from different walks of life, with various opinions and emotions. This can make for a more interesting read and gives us as the author the opportunity to describe different worlds within a world.

It keeps the narrative fresh and exciting, reviving interest and bringing us closer to and more invested in several characters rather than just one.

Disadvantages

Writing multiple POVs can be difficult as each must have a unique voice. If they all merge into one, this will bore the reader and demonstrate a lack of skill.

You run the risk of confusing your reader. If you aren’t clear whose perspective you have switched to and from it can be easy to confuse the reader, and if they have to keep flipping back and forth to figure it out, this can ruin their enjoyment of reading.

They may end up finding it difficult to become engaged with any character. By switching points of view, you have less space to allow your reader to get to know the different characters of your book. Either you end up with a longer novel which can be tough to sell, or you may not have space to fully develop each character which can leave your reader feeling a lack of empathy or care for any of them - and this is a severe problem in any book.

It may be harder to keep the pace up and action flowing if the perspective keeps switching.

In conclusion, as with any writing technique, if switching points of view is done cleverly and in a well-thought-out, considered manner it can be a great way of creating a complex, engaging novel where the reader gets to see the perspectives of many fascinating characters and the world that they live in. If poorly done, well then, it can confuse and frustrate your reader to the point where they give up on your novel altogether.

As writers, have you ever experimented with multiple points of view? Let us know here!

bethany cadman

Bethany Cadman - bethanycadman.co.uk

About Bethany Cadman

Bethany Cadman is an author and freelance writer. Her highly anticipated debut novel 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers' is available on Amazon as both an eBook and a paperback. You can find it here - http://tinyurl.com/z47t8qf

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