Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Four Viewpoints (Part 16 of 17)

No rule exists that says you must stay in a single point of view. You can mix them from scene to scene. You might alternate from the hero's POV in one scene and the heroine's in the next.

Or write a chapter using third person and shift to first in the next. Rosellen Brown wrote a novel about a young man who molested and murdered his girlfriend in Before and After. She arranged the book in four sections, with different viewpoints. The reviews on Amazon were mixed and mostly negative. (Part of the mixed reactions may have been because of the theme.)

In which genre are you writing? Examine books by authors who write in the same field. Familiarize yourself with their POVs.

It's easier to sell books written
in the usual POVs.


  1. I heard someone complain about Gilbert Morris jumping around between his POV's, but I don't have a hard time following him at all. Apparently we can learn this skill.

  2. Actually, the book is about a boy who murders his girlfriend. Not his sister. (There's a sister in the story, but she's never molested.) I haven't seen the movie, but maybe they changed the storyline?

    I read the novel years ago and have never understood Brown's decision to shift from third person to first person POV. Seems a distracting choice to me (in this particular case; I was jolted from the story every time the POV shifted), and isn't fiction about creating a world that's high immersion?

    Note that my concern wasn't with the viewpoint shifts (seems so many people get viewpoint and POV confused). Those were fine. It was the move from third person POV to first person POV that struck me as too noticeable.


What are your thoughts?