Discussion: Multiple POVs



P.E. & Mari discuss Multiple POVs in books.

I was considering something I've noticed sometimes. It seems like some people don't like multiple POVs. It's weird. So many of my favourite books like Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr include multiple POVs. I love exploring different perspectives. It's not just that though- I don't think I've ever had a problem with them. How about you?

Ekk! Alright well, you spoke about people who don't like multiple POVs and its kind of funny because be hold I am one of them. Now saying that I don't mean that I dislike all multiple POVs. Some of my favourite books have been duel narrated but that's the thing, I have a limit. The more narrators in a story makes me a little anxious, as I always find a favourite and hate it when their chapter ends in order to allow space for the other, less appealing character.

No way, I totally asked you that question thinking you were on the same side as me... *whistles* So for you, the issue is that you tend to favour one character over another? What interests me in the multiple POVs is how you can know a character in so many different ways. You can understand them on a personal basis, but you also get to see how others look at them. That's something I've always found fascinating, especially after learning people are different with themselves and others. Especially when the characters have to make hard choices so they're hated by some characters and loved by others. For me, it's just more layers and I love it.

I understand what you're talking about and it does sounds great but the sad truth is, there aren't many book out there who are able to incorporate that into the story. Instead we get a lot of different story-lines playing out with no real scheduling as to when the characters will finally meet. I've been putting off Leviathan by Scott Westerfield because to me character's relationship are very important. It doesn't have to be romantic, it can be anything. Interactions between characters, especially the protagonists, is what keeps me reading so when I hear things like, they don't meet till the second book it automatically becomes less appealing. What can I say I'm a little impatient. In another case we get less development of either stories as the author is too busy trying to build two stories in one book. Personally, I prefer one story and lots of detail and development.

Obviously, I feel differently. I'll give a TV example: The Game of Thrones. We both enjoy that TV show and it follows multiple POVs. Those different perspectives enhance the story because they're all very in-depth and show layers to the story. I understand that this is a purely subjective thing, because I loved Leviathan (awesome illustrations eh?) so maybe it depends on the story and the writing. Do more people accept multiple POVs in genres like fantasy?

I think you brought up a great point with fantasy. I've also noticed that multiple POVs in fantasy don't bother me and I wonder if that has to do with the world building and plot development which has a stronger presence in fantasy than in genres like contemporary. But in the end I think it comes down to the author, their writing and the story. The Game of Thrones is obviously a story which needs multiple POVs to build and develop its plot and it is George R.R. Martin's masterful story telling abilities that make the books and show enjoyable.

I agree. For me, multiple perspectives says the story is so huge, complex, and awesome that you can't confine it to only one character. I've always enjoyed it. 

This Is Our Take On Multiple POVs. 

What Do You Think?


  1. I like them when they're done well. It drives me crazy to read books with multiple narrators but I can't tell anyone apart because they sound the same. Each narrator needs to have a unique voice and really contribute something new to the story.

  2. I tend to love multiple POVs provided they're done well-I want to be able to differentiate between the different narrators instead of confused about who is speaking.

  3. Nice discussion! I don't mind dual POV, but as soon as you hit more than 2 characters I get a bit antsy... I don't like it when they change narration too much, because I tend to always like one character more than another, and I want to follow one part of the story over another. An example of someone who does multiple narration SUPERBLY is Marissa Meyer. I went into Scarlet not wanting to leave Cinder's POV, and ended up falling for Scarlet within a few pages. There was never an instance where I wanted to go back to one story over another.


What do you think?