In the last two posts, I focused on chapter one and how to start a new chapter.
To follow with one of my points, changing point of view is an excellent way to begin a new chapter.
I love reading fast-paced novels with lots of three-dimensional characters and multiple points of views. In both of my novels, A Time of Stones and War of Power and Light, I use multiple viewpoints to build the suspense between each character and the overarching plot.
Below are five tips to keep readers turning the pages with multiple points of view.
Each Point of View Is Crucial To The Plot
Readers need to care about the characters they’re reading about. If you’re going to use multiple points of view, every character should have a purpose.
Establishing this early in the story can help the reader relationship. For example, in the first Game of Thrones book, Daenerys’ first chapter establishes why she has a point of view – the Targaryen are the true heir to the Iron Throne.
As long as you create strong, interesting characters that are intersect with your overarching plot, you can’t go wrong.
Distinct Voices and Own Goals.
They must stay true to themselves throughout the novel, which means you, as the writer, must know who they are. They must have their own backstory and experience their own journey as they assist the protagonist. What is their goal and purpose?
A helpful hint with distinct voices is a that character would never say that. Think of a phrase that a character says, and let that stay true to them. For example, maybe one of your characters would never use contractions (wouldn’t, shouldn’t etc…)
Clear transition between Point of Views.
Not only will this help prevent reader confusion, it will give readers a better chance to bond with these characters. You can also add suspense by leaving characters in a harrowing, possibly life-altering situation when you move onto the next—and readers will be eager to keep reading to find out what happens next.
But always remember that every scene, no matter which POV is being used, must drive the story forward and connect in some meaningful way to the other points of view.
Supporting characters’ arcs should advance the core conflict.
Although each character will have his or her own set of problems and fears and desires, each story arc must entwine in some way with the protagonist’s goal to resolve his or her core conflict. Otherwise, you can end up with multiple novels crammed into one.
There must be overlap, even if the outcome is not satisfactory for every character.
Experiment with different perspectives.
Which POV will add the most to a scene? Write or outline the scene in more than one character’s viewpoint before deciding which way you want to go.
A strong tip for multiple points of view that I recommend is know the ending. If you know what character will be at the concluding moment, you can work backwards from their and experiment with different perspectives to help you get your characters to that concluding moment.
Writing in multiple points of view can be difficult, but if you take the time to develop interesting characters, do a little extra plotting before writing each scene, and leave every POV character in a place that leaves readers eager to know what happens next, you’ll take readers on an exciting ride.
If you have any questions, post your comments and answers below. If you think someone has an interesting point of view, questions or an answer, please invite them or share this post with them.