7 Methods for Handling Point-of-View Changes

Welcome to Twitter Treasure Thursday! In most of my stories, I tend to keep a narrow focus by using only one character’s point of view. However, when I began rewriting my novel last fall, I decided to make a huge change and use multiple POV’s.

AHHH!

Yeah, it’s not the easiest thing to divide a story amongst multiple characters. Not only do you need to make sure you’re maintaining each of their unique voices, but you need to make sure you’re not confusing the reader by making sudden POV leaps.

POV 2

Today’s gem, courtesy of Rhonda Ryde, addresses this topic. In an article written by Jami Gold, we’re offered great tips on how to handle POV transitions, and how to avoid pitfalls that hurt your story and confuse the reader.

7 Methods for Handling Point-of-View Changes

Paragraph Break
The vast majority of agents and editors consider a paragraph break to be an insufficient transition for a POV change, especially for a character-focused story.

In contrast to plot-driven stories, character-focused stories are page-turners because the reader cares about what will happen to the characters. It’s harder to create a sympathetic/empathetic relationship between the reader and characters in one-paragraph chunks. If the characters don’t matter, they might seem little more than puppets to the plot.

To read the entire article, click here!

And for more useful advice, follow Rhonda Ryde on Twitter!

Related Articles

How to choose a point of view for your novel

5 Tips for Writing Multiple POVs

Deadly Sin of Writing #5–P.O.V. Prostitution

Point of View: Choosing Whose Head To Be In

Photo credit: 

http://lydiakang.blogspot.com/2011/03/pov-privately-owned-vehicle.html

7 thoughts on “7 Methods for Handling Point-of-View Changes

  1. The novel I’m working on right now has two points of view and I am working so hard to make sure that it doesn’t become confusing for the reader (and that the reader will care about both narrators). It’s a lot more difficult than I originally envisioned it to be.

    Great post and thanks for sharing the resource, as always ❤

    Like

    1. I’m in the same boat as you (using two POV’s). I decided to use chapter breaks as my method of transition between them. It feels like the least confusing path to take.

      I think what’s the most challenging aspect of using multiple POV’s is making sure each character has their own distinct voice. The reader should know who’s narrating. I hate to use this as an example because it’s such a beloved series, but Allegiant had two characters with near identical voices. I would read entire chapters believing I was inside Tris’s head, when really, I was in Four’s. So distracting and confusing! Now, as I work on my manuscript, I constantly tell myself, “Don’t pull an Allegiant. Don’t pull an Allegiant…” haha.

      Good luck with writing your multiple POV’s! I’m sure you’ll handle it well 🙂

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      1. That was my biggest complaint about Allegiant too! I always read at the beginning of the chapter whose POV it was in and a couple of pages in I didn’t remember and had to go back and check. I almost didn’t finish the book because of that.

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  2. Thanks for the shout out! 🙂

    Ooo, and I haven’t read Allegiant yet, but that’s a great point about making sure our character voices are unique. In addition to their actual “voice,” I make sure their use of profanity (if any) and references for metaphors are unique. A baker is going to have a difference frame of reference for how something feels than a blacksmith, etc. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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