This week’s video discusses the problem of POVs taking up too much space with too few plot points.
I want to start this week’s video with a disclaimer. As you can tell from the title, this is going to be yet another two minutes of me harping on the dangers of multi-POV fiction. However, I want to make it clear that none of this is to say multi-POV fiction is inherently bad or wrong. I love multi-POV fiction. Every single one of my books has featured multiple POVs. So don’t take this to mean you should never write multiple POVs. Take it to mean multiple POVs should be approached with caution because they’re difficult. The more POV characters you have, the more you’ll have going on in your story, the more threads you’ll have to keep track of, and the more room you’ll have to make mistakes.
With that in mind, here’s yet another danger to beware of as you consider how many POVs to include in your story. Boiled down to its lowest common denominator, this pitfall has to do with the fact that POVs take up space. The more POVs you include, the longer your book is likely to be. Nothing wrong with this on the surface—except you can easily end up with a very long book in which not a whole lot happens. This is particularly possible when your POV characters are not interacting with each other. If you have what essentially amounts to half a dozen separate stories happening simultaneously, you’re likely to need a ridiculously large amount of space to allow enough stuff to happen within each POV.
So what do you do about this? First thing, of course, you’re going to want to analyze your POVs and make sure they’re all really necessary. Once you’ve determined they are necessary, your next step is to boil everything down to essentials. Figure out what events need to happen in each POV and focus on them first. What you want to avoid is stretching your plot so thin to keep track of all these POVs that readers get bored waiting for something to happen.
Thumbnail – Screen Capture From Video
Originally published on Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors