The Last Families is written from multiple points of view (POVs). Truth to be told, it is written at least from 6-7 points of view. You might be thinking, Wow, that many? Yeah, I’m surprised with that number. I actually didn’t intend to be like this. It just happened. But It seems I did a decent job with it.
Before the book’s release, I was terribly worried about this. Would readers be able to follow so many characters? Will they get confused with who is who? Luckily, in the few reviews, I’ve gotten, I’ve actually received very good feedback about this. Some quoted examples:
The book had multiple narrators and yet it maintained its cohesivenes.Afreen Khalil – Inscribed Inklings
The multiple POVs that this narrative had really did a great job of highlighting the differences amongst each family’s powers and perceptions of the world, and yet the same emotions and fears that resided within them all in this fight for survival they all shared.Anthony Avina Blog
Multiple points of view can sometimes confuse the reader (I know it does me) but I never got that with this book, you know who is who with every word written.Julie B – The Reading Cafe
This story is told from multiple perspectives, giving the reader a well-rounded view on what’s happening.Merissa – Archaeolibrarian
But why did I make the choice to write from multiple POVs? Here is a list of excuses/reasons that can answer that:
- The logical reason – There were scenes where the main characters weren’t physically present so there was no way to narrate those scenes from the character’s main point of view.
- The experimental one – When I started, I had an idea of the topic and the story, but I had still not decided on the main character. Therefore, I started writing from the POVs of 2/3 characters.
- Developing characters – When I wrote The Last Families, I did some parallel writing for the characters’ sideline stories. I wrote down in a notebook the background of each character: their upbringing, childhood, their inner strengths, etc. Soon many of these characters turned out to be too strong to not tell the story from their own point of view.
Now that you know my reasons, here are some tips that I can provide about this process:
- Only choose characters that you understand well in your mind.
- Develop each chosen character well. As mentioned before, you can write separately about their childhood, their family relationships, weaknesses, insecurities, strenghts, how they talk, if they have certain gestures, and of course their physical traits. Six of my characters have been illustrated by a friend who happens to be an artist. That made them more real.
- To make sure the reader knows/feels when you switch to a different character, I suggest re-reading what you wrote about that character’s sideline story. This process will help help you to step in the shoes and its POV. I did this process each time I started with a new chapter and there was a new POV.
What seemed like a possible faux-paux when writing The Last Families, it turned out to be a good book trait. I’m not sure if I would ever do it again. Deep inside me, I know that even though I managed to pull it off, it was still extra work and I probably over-complicated myself.
My new manuscript is written from a single point of view and I feel relieved 🙂 However, this new story doesn’t need multiple POVs. The Last Families needed them. So far I’ve gotten a couple of reviews asking if there will be a second part, or if the book is part of a series. Yes, there is room for that. My ending hints at this somehow. I’m not sure yet if there will be other adventures of The Last Families, but I’m pretty sure that if there are, then they will definitely be again from multiple POVs.
With this post, I hope to encourage writers that have at some point considered using multiple POVs but felt deterred. Trust me, it can be done and readers don’t need to feel lost.
If this is the first time you are hearing about my fantasy book The Last Families, you can find the information on where to buy it on the following link:
One thought on “Writing from multiple POVs”
The manuscript I’m working on right now has three POVs, but I might be using a four one because the character is an important one. Perhaps I’ll run the story by beta readers first to get some opinions other than my own.
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