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PoV of supporting characters

Joe Benet
Bronze Member
Posts: 59

Presume novella or novel length story. Presume some scenes don't contain the main character, especially in early chapters that setup necessary story elements.

Should those supporting scenes be written in those supporting characters' PoV? Or do you find it better to write those in a more neutral perspective, or omni even, saving the PoV for MC only, or at least a very limited number of characters?

I ask b/c a critique of the first 15 pages of my novella noticed my multiple PoV across those first 4-5 chapters simply b/c MC was only in one of them (though the longest one). 

Thanks for any insight.

Topic starter Posted : May 30, 2022 12:09 am
Silver Member
Posts: 283

Lauren Oliver did this well in her Delirium series, often switching the POV in alternating chapters back and forth between the two primary protagonists. Stephen King also frequently uses omni POV in many of his stories. There really is no “right” way as long as you do it consistently, and it doesn’t confuse the reader, and your method serves the purpose of the story and the effect you want to create. 

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Posted : May 30, 2022 5:44 am
Silver Star Member
Posts: 602

For me, I don't like Omni much, as you tend to suffer with emotional distance, but it can work sometimes. I think it's effective in comedy in particular. 

Multiple POVs can work really well, so I'd be surprised about it being something worthy of note in itself, though of course there are ways to do it wrong. If you get the same feedback from multiple readers, it might be worth taking a look at it. For myself, one thing I do dislike in multiple POV work is when there's only one character who I care about--because then, when I'm in other POVs, it just feels like the story is on hold, and I'm waiting for it to get back to the character I want to read about.

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Posted : May 31, 2022 7:32 pm