If you’ve been a writer for more than…let’s say, a day, you’ve probably already read confusing articles about P.O.V. (point of view) or seen attempts at helpful charts, like the one above. Every writer who blogs has most likely blogged about P.O.V. Third person, second person, first person, and their perplexing variations — I never thought twice about my P.O.V. until I started reading about it. I simply wrote whatever perspective best fit the situation. No problem.
In my manuscript Arden, I have only one main character. Arden. Go figure. Anyway, writing in third person limited was easy with just Arden to work with. Tristan did make the occasional appearance in dominance, but that was only to clarify his unexplained actions and take over while Arden was unconscious or in a different location. Still a piece of cake.
However, as I’m planning my sequel (untitled), I’m faced with a large and head-scratching decision. I’m continuing with Arden as the main character, so about two-thirds of the novel will be from her perspective. But because so many of the characters from the first novel are in different locations carrying out different roles and tasks, I need to branch out a bit more.
Arden and her six companions, including Tristan, are completing their search for a girl important to their kingdom in the Mundirian town Enaeos. They travel to South Ferin…and that’s all I’m revealing.
Ilex is back at Naphiring, raising an army and dealing with the complicated politics that have risen in recent months.
And Pharecles and Phoebe are in Emperor’s City, where the siblings are trying to wake up the people of Mundir from decades of laziness. Inter-court relations are becoming a problem.
So, I have three, for a lack of a better word, narrators: Arden, Ilex, and Pharecles/Phoebe (I haven’t decided which one yet). Here is my dilemma:
Do I alternate their voices within each chapter, or does each chapter belong to one character alone?
In Arden, Tristan just jumped in and out for a couple of paragraphs or pages, quite suiting to his personality. Other examples of books like this are the Inheritance Cycle and the Wicked Lovely series. Or, the chapters could be set up something like: Arden, Ilex, Pharecles, Arden, Arden, Ilex, Arden, Pharecles.
When you’re reading a novel, what best suits your fancy?
If you’re completely and utterly confused about these funky-sounding characters, this post might help. Or maybe not.