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Multiple POV in the same chapter.


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Anyone ever done it?

 

My wife is reading through my novella, and given her feedback on one section of the story, I quickly discovered an errant chapter.  Consequently, it contains two different POV - one of the main character and the other of a secondary character - separated by a break.  In the end, both POVs merge back into following the main character.

 

I liked what I wrote initially, but it's clear that I'm going to have to shed the second POV section and rewrite the chapter to eliminate confusion (as much as I likes what I got out of the second POV).  However, it bids the question: has anyone ever done more than one POV in a chapter, and how did you pull it off.

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I have yet to write an entire chapter in only one pov 😂 I usually only switch once though, with a scene break whenever I do switch, but I do have 1 chapter that switches twice because one of the characters fell asleep. I like being able to explore the feelings of both of my main characters over any given part of the action. 

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I have to say that I tend to write POV by chapter. Then I keep to no more than 2-3 POVs. This allows me to be able to explore their internal conflicts.   

 

 I find it very distracting as a reader if the POV jumps about within a chapter but that is just me.  I have read one or two books where it is done. I suspect you have to be very systematic in your rotating of the POVs so to establish a pattern for the reader to get into and to have very different styles of writing to help them recognize the different voices.

 

 

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I guess I should specify, I write in 3rd person, so the "voice" is always mine, even though I'm letting the reader in on the inner dialog of different characters. Thus far, I have only ever written the pov of my MC and hero, so there's only two to differentiate from, and I usually start a new section with the name of the character I'm writing about somewhere in the first paragraph after a change. Hope that clarifies.

 

And I agree with @Shamrock that there should be a pattern to your switching. (ie. With very few exceptions, my pov switches in approximately the middle of the chapter, regardless which pov I start with).

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In my Escape book, the POV alternates between Cherry and Rowdy. Each chapter begins with Cherry and follows with Rowdy, with a section break between them. (The last chapter is only Cherry, because Rowdy finished up in the previous chapter. I started with Cherry, so I wanted to end with her.)

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5 hours ago, Jeff Potts said:

My wife is reading through my novella, and given her feedback on one section of the story, I quickly discovered an errant chapter.  Consequently, it contains two different POV - one of the main character and the other of a secondary character - separated by a break. 


As long as it's clear who the POV is, I'm ok. I tend to change POVs only at the chapter level when I'm writing third-person.

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I write in 3rd person. I switch POVs as necessary for the plot. My current WIP is a fantasy series. I don't follow any sort of system or rotation, because I feel like I would just be switching POVs for the sake of switching POVs. In my story at least! I'm sure everyone's mileage will vary depending on the type of story you're telling. 

 

I simply make a clear scene break and make it obvious we've switched POVs by mentioning the character's name. And of course, different characters have different ways of seeing the world, so their thoughts and observations will be different.

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@Jeff PottsI'm aware that I'm about to mention a series that some Christians object to, but it's the only story I've read that did this to me.

 

The assumption that Harry Potter is the one and only POV throughout the series is a common assumption. I assumed it until the fourth movie. (Not like I'm going to read them over and over again, so I remember the movies better.) In the beginning of that movie the keeper of the estate notices a light on in the main house when no one has lived their for decades. And he goes to investigate. Harry Potter is not in that scene, and probably never gets what happened then. 

 

Harry Potter is written in omni POV.

 

Have you considered your novella might be too?

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1 hour ago, Spaulding said:

@Jeff PottsI'm aware that I'm about to mention a series that some Christians object to, but it's the only story I've read that did this to me.

 

The assumption that Harry Potter is the one and only POV throughout the series is a common assumption. I assumed it until the fourth movie. (Not like I'm going to read them over and over again, so I remember the movies better.) In the beginning of that movie the keeper of the estate notices a light on in the main house when no one has lived their for decades. And he goes to investigate. Harry Potter is not in that scene, and probably never gets what happened then. 

 

Harry Potter is written in omni POV.

 

Have you considered your novella might be too?

 

My writing style is Third Person Limited...or Omni.  Which one depends on who is reviewing it, I guess.  I call it Third Person "Camera Eye," in that a "camera" follows behind the main character.  I get into the character's thoughts and feelings sometimes, but rarely ever secondary characters.

 

I also happen to like Harry Potter, though I know the mention of magic, wizards and such gets some people upset.  My literary world has wizards and magic too.  However, as you'll find, much of it has one foot set squarely in the Bible.

 

 

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My first novella had two points of view. I alternated between them pretty frequently, often within chapters, but never within a scene. One little trick was to open as many POV switching scenes/chapters as possible with the character's name, i.e., "Anna got dressed and went downstairs..." or at least have the name show up within the first sentence.

 

That's the only story I've done that with so far, though it seems pretty common in the romance genre. Not sure about fantasy...

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