By: AJ Humpage
There are a lot of writers out there that have still not got to grips with multiple POVs and are therefore still making avoidable errors such as switching POVs mid scene and having every character in the novel have a viewpoint. It might seem that multiple POVs are complicated, or they present the writer with all sorts of complications because of dealing with many characters, but that isn’t really the case.
They are not complicated to deal with, if you know what you’re doing. It’s how well the writer approaches multiple viewpoints that matters.
POV errors happen – and keep happening – because writers are not taking the time to learn about them and understand how they work. Fiction writing isn’t just about writing a story and self-publishing it on Amazon. Writing is complex. That means all the elements that go into writing are also just as complex.
One of the faults when dealing with multiple viewpoints in a novel is the inability for the writer differentiate between characters clearly enough, because having lots of characters and therefore writing from more than one POV can be distracting and sometimes confusing for the reader, as well as the writer. It goes without saying that the main character always has the strongest viewpoint.
Readers tend to like as few character viewpoints as possible – it simply makes it easier to follow the story that way – so when presented with lots more character viewpoints, they have to concentrate and focus harder to stay with the story. This is why writers should handle multiple POVs correctly and carefully by using
few rather than many.
Another problem is that the writer wrongly assumes that he or she has to write from the POV of every character in the novel in order to tell the story. This simply isn’t the case. Not every character is important enough to warrant his or her own POV. Instead, by concentrating on the main characters, and a few key secondary characters, the writer can focus the story properly, on the characters that matter.
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Avoid the Problems
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