Mar 6, 2019

Let's Discuss--Multiple Points of View

So another topic idea came to me the other day! One that I don't think I've talked about before but since I was itching to be chatty I thought, why not?

Multiple Points of View

I feel like the great majority of books I read are usually just one character's point of view, be it third or first person. Sometimes it's two, you know, heroine and hero. Those are all fine and dandy, but what about when we add in a third, fourth, sixth, eighth point of view. When does it get to be too much?

Now granted, in Six of Crows, six points of view really worked out better than I thought it would! The characters were more or less in the same vicinity of one another, worse came to worse, they split up in pairs or whatnot and we hop around between the pairs. It was never overly complicated to follow along.

But let me tell you, there have been times in other books where it was seriously friggin hard to figure out which of the 4 or 5 points of view we were dealing with because there was no helpful chapter title telling you so. I actually sometimes hate it when that happens, because it usually takes a few lines for some sort of hint to come along. Characters don't go around thinking their own name!

I honestly can't remember which of the books I've read had the most points of view. Very few can make them work. Another series that had multiple points of view of a number I can't even remember was Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie's Wicked series! Of course, every book I think of is one that's buried in storage somewhere so I can't recall if there were helpful chapter titles for this one, but I felt like you knew within the first few sentences whose point of view you were reading.

I have nothing against multiple points of view. I actually like them from time to time. It's fun to see what the heroine was thinking when event A happened and we were with the hero at the time. That's why when Jennifer L. Armentrout went back to the Lux series and wrote the first three books in Daemon's perspective, I knew I had to have it because who didn't want to know what Daemon was thinking in those early times? Having the remaining books be a dual point of view with Katy and Daemon just made the series twice as good! Lol.

Another series that did extraordinarily amazing with multiple points of view was Morgan Rhodes' Falling Kingdoms series AND her Spirits and Thieves series--you know, the ones that DESPERATELY DESPERATELY needs its finale?! Having the various points of view in this one lets you know exactly what's going on on all the fronts. It's a series where a lot happens and one point of view so wouldn't have been enough!

So in the end, I guess I have nothing against multiple points of view. I like them as long as the author does it in a way that you can quickly know whose point of view you're in. If I have to read more than a paragraph to figure out who's talking or whatever it tends to irritate me because I might think it's character B as that was the perceived pattern but it ended up being character D because there was no helpful chapter name title or whatever! Basically, if a book is to have more than one point of view, I feel having the chapters named with that point of view goes a long way to making readers happy!

How do you feel about multiple points of view? Do you like them? Or do you prefer just the one perspective?


  1. I actually couldn't stand Six of Crows because of the multiple points of view. It annoyed me so bad
    I can handle multiple points of view more with physical books, gets difficult with audio though. I think 3 max is the best, but I've read some that were 6 points of view that actually worked well.

    Ash @ JennRenee Read

  2. In books with multiple points of view, I almost always find myself having a preference and becoming impatient to get back to the PoV I enjoy most. I feel that is my most common experience with multiple PoVs, but sometimes they are done well, like you said. Later on in the Throne of Glass series, when we have a huge cast of characters (similar to Six of Crows), and I love each of them equally (that's a lie, I definitely loved some more than others, but still), it totally worked. In a story that complex, the author needs several PoVs to cover more ground and build the story more, and they have the skills to keep it all straight. But some authors don't have those skills. You mentioned headers telling us which PoV we are reading. I agree with that, but also, sometimes, I am confused even with the headers because the two characters are written the same. Like, they have no personality, so it's hard to tell them apart. I think, like anything else, this is a technique that some authors can pull off better than others, and can be really useful when it comes to furthering the story. I think the foundation for being able to use this technique is solid, lovable, and interesting characters. Thanks for this topic, it was really interesting. I enjoy reading your opinion posts.

    Emily @ Emily's Crammed Bookshelf

  3. I keep thinking I'd like to go back and reread the Lux Series from Daemon's POV (before I start the newest book). I'm not usually crazy about those alternate POV books, but it would be a great way to do a reread.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  4. Oooh, this is an interesting topic. I think that as long as they're written well, I can enjoy multiple POVs, but the voices need to be clear. If I have to flip back and forth to see who's talking then the characters are not unique. Also, one of my pet peeves is the introduction of a new POV in the middle of a book or series, ESPECIALLY if it used to be only from one POV.


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