Multiple main characters

by Marissa

Question: In my book I have like 5 or main characters depending on how you look at it because there's always at least 5 but for one book I'll introduce a new character and they're important for that book but they might end up dying in the end. Not really sure where I was going with that but anyway I want to do first person point of view and I was going to do it for 2 of the characters but I'm starting to think about doing it in 3 or 4 of the characters. Most of the time they're together going on mission and stuff but sometimes they split up and they all have different view point on life and stuff. Which sounds better 2 point of view or 3 or 4?

One of the characters that would be talking wouldn't get introduced until the second book because even though she plays a very crucial part and is probably more important than all the other characters the story starts with book one but her story doesn't make sense until book 2 so in the first book I would do character As point of view and character Bs point of view but in the second book it would be character As and Cs so I don't know if I should still do Bs and I'm thinking about adding another characters point of view because he's important but not as important as some the others but his view could be interesting. Does that make sense to do? Which sounds better? Should I even put character Ds view point in there
because nothing different would be happening with him and it would just be seeing the world through his eyes and he doesn't really play a crucial part like some of the others.

Answer: You are certainly free to write your series, or individual books, from multiple points of view.

The advantages are that...

1. You can use dramatic irony, in that the reader can learn things through the eyes of a secondary character which the main character never finds out about.

2. You can appeal to a variety of readers. Someone who likes one of your secondary characters more than the main character may enjoy seeing a bit of the story through his/her eyes.

The disadvantage is that the more time you spend telling the story through other POV characters you use, the weaker the connection between the reader and the main character.

It also depends how closely you want to narrate from the main character's POV. In a story that's tightly focused on the main character's inner thoughts and feelings, you may want to stick with one POV. If the focus is more on the external plot, there is less of a concern that multiple POVs will erode that intimacy. (Third person may work better too in a plot-driven story, since it is a less intimate form of narration--but that's not to say you can't make first person work. Some books do.)

Regarding D, if you're going to switch to a different character's POV, you should have a reason, such as the character having an important role to play when none of the other POV characters are with him.

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Character Invite.

search this site the web
search engine by freefind

Celebrating our 2nd year as one of the...

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero