POV: Too many, too little

Thoughts have been running over in my mind recently (scary I know) about the amount of POVs that is perfectly acceptable. As a writer and reader that enjoys a character filled novel {Stephen King’s Under the Dome and Dean Koontz’s Strangers spring to mind} I genuinely think that it doesn’t matter if you have one or ten, as long as the content matches up and the ratio is not off balance.

To have fifteen POVs in a book that spans a hundred pages seems a little bit off to me (unless this could be personal accounts from something that has happened or letters). Where as ten over the space of four hundred seems logical as this could build a compelling tale.

I have read stories in first person that I loved and did not need more than that. I have also read reviews from people that have not enjoyed the amount of characters that were telling the tale and thought it would have been ideal to cut it down.

In the past I have eliminated a character as their POV did not make any sense and they were just a nice to have. Sometimes it’s cruel to be kind. In my Siblings novel I had characters scream out that they wanted to tell the tale but it just would not have worked. In the sequel, new characters have been introduced with their own take on events and I have yet to decide if they will remain. I am just writing at the moment and not concentrating on the editing part. 

I think as long as it has a decent ratio between length of time concentrating on the character, the amount of POVs and length of story, any amount is fine. As long as they can be justified. 

So here are my questions to you: What do you enjoy in a book regarding POVs? Are you a one character kind of reader? Or do you like aplenty? Let me know your thoughts. 


11 thoughts on “POV: Too many, too little

  1. I think it all depends on the writing. I’m dubious about my skills at writing numerous POVs, as I like first person, but I have branched out to 2 POVs to get me started. If the writing is executed well, then it doesn’t matter if there is one or 100 characters. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting post πŸ™‚ … I prefer books which has like 5 POVs (max). If, anyone else is going to be added, then their role has to be significant (for a plot twist maybe?) And I don’t mind people in the background, just don’t focus on people who don’t add to the story

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  3. I don’t mind a lot of POVs or just one. It depends on the story and what needs to be told. My book has many POVs but only a few of them have one scene-these are important. I usually stick to just one POV per chapter or switch it part way through. My story is really complex and long so this many POV is necessary. There is a point where it can be too many and can get confusing.

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  4. It depends on the writing, but as a general rule I love multiple view points. I think, if they are done well and aren’t just there as filler chapters, that they can add a lot to the story. Not knowing what the baddies are up to adds to the tension, but knowing that your favourite character is about to walk into a trap because the main baddie has his own POV can be thrilling (and cruel *ahem*), too. Having said that, books with only one POV don’t put me off, I’ll still read them if they are written well πŸ™‚

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  5. Firstly, I love the new look here πŸ™‚ It’s just glorious!
    Secondly, very good question. I’ve read two books in very recent memory — one I’m reading now — where I’ve found that too many voices are speaking and there’s no real point to having their perspective. Rather, they lessen the impact of the story and remove the element of suspense.
    I’ve read all the published Song of Ice and Fire novels which are partly renowned for the number of characters with stories to tell, but I’ve always enjoyed that. There’s a thematic link, and they allow for a broader picture of the world. True, I could easily have done without some of the POVs, but that’s because some characters are less likable than others.
    At the end of the day, it depends on the type of story being told and the way in which an author conveys each voice and convinces that these characters should be heard. Otherwise, I have no preference πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I love learning different writers and readers preferences and as always yours is greatly appreciated. You shared some interesting facts and thank you for taking the time to get back. Much appreciated as always πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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