GIve my main characters equal point of view.

by Samantha
(North Lauderdale, FL, USA)

Question: I have a main character. Let's call him M1. I have another main character, who's M2. They are each other's love interests. My third main character is also the antagonist, M3.

I wantM3 to be somewhat sympathetic as he's kind of misunderstood, even though he causes problems for M1 and M2, and the only way to do that, I feel, is to see his point of view every now and then.

Is it too much to have alternate points every chapter? What I mean is, Chapter 1 - M1 POV, Chapter 2 - M2 POV, Chapter 3 - M3 - POV, Chapter 4 - M1 POV, Chapter 5 - M2 POV, Chapter 6 - M3 - POV, and so on.

Would that be confusing?

Answer: It doesn't have to be confusing, if you make it clear whose point of view the reader is seeing in each chapter. Many novels work this way.

The downside is that the reader may not feel as strong a connection to the main character (M1), and therefore may be looking more objectively at the story rather than subjectively.

How much this matters is really a judgment call on your part, plus it depends a little on genre. Generally, with children's or YA books, the current fashion is to develop a strong, intimate connection between reader and the main character. So with most of these books you will see not only a single point of view character, but also first person, present tense narration.

However, that doesn't mean you have to write your book that way. Creativity demands variety.

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