Deciding which point of view to use in a story is a big decision. I read somewhere once that, in a novella, you should only ever use one POV. The story is shorter and apparently it would be too confusing to the reader to have more than one.
I thought that was underestimating the reader a bit.
But, in my first two novellas I have only used one POV, from the point of my female lead character in third-person narrative. It has been a little difficult because, in my head, I tend to play out my stories like a movie, and the POV in a movie can switch often, showing the audience things that the main characters wouldn’t know. Such as, if the villain does something sneaky that the main character can’t see, if I stick to only the POV of that main character, then the audience wouldn’t know about it either. This makes it difficult when you’re trying to write a sub-plot that is subtle and relies on the reader knowing things the main character doesn’t.
As I mentioned, my next story was originally going to be a comic, and in comics POV can also change, showing things other characters couldn’t know. So, I am now having to tailor the story to fit into a novella and in one POV.
I’d also read a couple of comments over a variety of websites, where some readers say they cannot feel for the male love interest if they can’t read his POV too. I never had trouble with this, personally, but it did make me wonder whether I should be adding it.
I read a book called Starling by E.B Thompson, recently. I enjoyed it very much and it’s worth checking out if you’re in the mood for a fantasy read. In that book though, she used many different POVs at times, without changing paragraphs or breaking when a change of POV was used. You would read the thoughts of one character on something, and then the next sentence would be another’s thoughts on the situation. She marked out clearly who it was who was thinking, but there were no breaks to indicate a change of POV.
Now, I understand the rule of POV changing, and I realise that that way of doing it is supposedly ‘wrong‘. You are apparently to always break or indicate a change of POV. But I have to say I really enjoyed it. I liked being able to hear all the characters insights on something that was happening (there was a big cast of characters). It was only a line occasionally, but I didn’t find it confusing or odd at all.
I kinda wish that I could write that way.
But I won’t. Because I worry too much about the ‘rules’ 😀 If I wrote my novella as I planned out my comic, the POV would switch every other paragraph and that would be jarring to the flow of the story.
Seeing as I am already behind on my March schedule and haven’t started writing my next novella yet, I am still torn between sticking to the POV of my female lead, or splitting it between my female lead and my male love interest. But then, I would love to add my villain’s POV, because he is a complex character in himself.
Argh, so many decisions 😀
Do you have trouble deciding which POV to write? Do you have trouble connecting with characters if you can’t read their POV?
Status of Second Manuscript: Still editing.
March E-Book Review: Book chosen.