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Too Many POVs? Check it out...

For those of you who are writing in multiple points of view, how many is "too many"?? How do you decide? (I don't decide...I've learned I suck at multiple POVs and therefore don't try it, lol.)

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According to author/blogger/writing instructor Janice Hardy, one of the problems with multiple POVs is that you end up with TOO MUCH PLOT:

"...This structure lends itself to each POV having a story and plot of their own, and those plots often have several subplots as well. You might be over plotting if:

Each POV problem requires its own resolution
Each POV has subplots of its own that are not connected to the core conflict
Each POV’s problem is unique and not connected or loosely connected to the core conflict.
You can’t say which POV is your protagonist."

READ MORE at The Other Side of the Story...


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 22nd, 2013 04:32 am (UTC)
...for those of us who live and breathe multiple povs, and are blessed with genres that not only accept but, in many ways, encourage multiple povs...the risks inherent in their use are outweighed by the sheer JOY of writing them.

As in so many things, I suppose it is a matter of knowing when to say 'enough'. You can have too much of a good thing.
Feb. 22nd, 2013 04:16 pm (UTC)
Re: true....but...
sometimes TWO is two many. I'm reading a thriller now that jumped from the MC to the MC's ex-husband. I DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE MC'S EX-HUSBAND. I was totally invested in the MC and then BANG--she's gone.

OTOH I stared reading Winds of War and have no problem at all with the multiple POVs. I guess it depends on the books as well...

Feb. 22nd, 2013 01:20 pm (UTC)
I tend to stick to one or two, max. I don't know if I'd be able to juggle too many more voices in my head at the same time. But obviously some people can.

I remember when Maggie Stiefvater went from 2 to 4 POV's in her Wolves at Mercy Falls series, it was hard for to adjust at first, but in the end I think she executed it just right so I don't really know if there is such a thing as too many. It's more of a how many are you capable to writing while also not losing the reader.
Feb. 22nd, 2013 04:16 pm (UTC)
It definitely takes skill, and Maggie's got it. :)
Feb. 22nd, 2013 09:28 pm (UTC)
It really depends on execution, I think, since some books soar with multiple POVs, while others crash into a convoluted mess. I used to write multiple POVs, but over the years, I've grown used to writing from just one POV. (And now I don't even work on novels anymore...hah.) I don't know if I ever excelled at either of those POV types, but it was definitely easier to juggle just one over several!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


Jeannine Garsee

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