Point of veiw

Question: I would like to display three of my character's thoughts, but I don't want to use third person point of view. Would switching point of view be a little too confusing? I mean, like;





Answer: It's not impossible, just more difficult to make changes in the point of view clear to the reader while writing in 1st person. The reason is that you would refer to each POV character as "I," whereas in 3rd person you could use their names, thus immediately distinguishing them from each other.

The challenge you are setting yourself up for is that, each time you change viewpoints, you must provide enough clues right away so that the reader knows they are now in a different character's perspective. After all, I assume you want your reader's attention to be on the story, not on trying to figure out what's happening with the narration and why the character from the last chapter now seems to be in a different situation ... Is it a flashback or a dream? ... Do they have a split personality? ... Should I flip back to the last chapter in case I missed an important clue? ... Is it still the same story? ...I'm so confused ... Maybe I should read something else??!! Etc.

Limited 3rd person narration does make it easier to avoid these kinds of problems.

Of course, you are also free to use 1st person narration for your main character or primary POV character and 3rd person for the others. The change in person can help signal to the reader that a new POV has begun.

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 Questions About Novel Writing.

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