1. kitsune4
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    kitsune4 Member

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    Is it unusual to have one POV only to expand in later novels?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by kitsune4, Oct 6, 2013.

    Hello, I hope this is in the proper section,

    I'm curious about how common it is for a novel series to only have one POV and then expand to have more? I know George RR Martin has several POVs which continue to grow in later novels, but by having multiple right away, I feel like a precedent is set.

    Would it be strange to have readers bonds with one MC only to expand the story later? Originally I wanted to start my novel off with several POVs but I found that I was having major writers block so I'm only writing from one POV (for now). For the second novel in the series, I wanted to branch out to include my MC's older brother, who is introduced part way into the first novel. I would potentially add a few more, though that's no longer 100%.

    The reason I want to include both POVs is because the story is largely about their complicated relationship and as I have it planned (should the story not take on a path of its own), it should ultimately culminate in a confrontation between the two.

    I'm guessing anything is possible, but I am looking for some advice on this. Thanks!
     
  2. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    I'm not sure it is common, but it's definitely been done and I don't think there's anything wrong with it if it makes sense for the story.
     
  3. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think your idea is very interesting : can't say any cases of duologies where new PoV is added in the second part... but The Sound and the Fury immediately comes to mind when I think about multi-PoVs...

    And I'm currently re-watching Lost - despite all its weaknesses, the series does manage to keep up with 15+ main characters and switch between 15+ points-of-view... It's a different medium and format, of course, but it's interesting...
     
  4. kitsune4
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    kitsune4 Member

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    Thanks for the replies!

    Yeah Lost is true. Personally though by the third season, there were so many new faces, that I lost interest and stopped watching.

    I actually just thought of an example. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman. He introduces a second MC named Will in the second novel. I just can't recall if Lyra was the only POV in the first and I also recall there being a third POV but I can't remember her name either.

    I suppose it's been done. I think my main concern is whether or not it would become difficult to attach to a new POV when there is already an established singular one.
     
  5. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well it's gonna be a new novel, right? So the reader would expect something new - a new storyline, continuation and conclusion of previous...
     
  6. Windreda
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    Windreda Member

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    It depends on how successfully the characters develop. In truth it doesn't matter how many POV's you have or how late in the story it progresses before you add one in, if the character is uninteresting or unlikable the reader won't find themselves getting into the story. In truth it won't matter when you add in the MC's brother if he compliments the story in a positive direction.

    On another note keep in mind that if you have writers block now you shouldn't try to write now then try to awkwardly plan in outside elements in future novels. Doesn't matter how far you have planned ahead focus on your first novel directly and wondering how you can make THAT novel the best it can be. Plan out your plot, write character bios for your characters, play the part of the critic and do everything in your power to destroy your story and then fortify it to make any sort of plot hole nonexistent. Only once you finally finish this novel and it turns into something successful for you then you may start making plans for the next one. If the main characters brother is that vital to the story at least make a reference to him if you won't include him in this 'first' novel.

    But of course it is your story mine. Just know that writers block won't go away unless you work towards fighting against it.
     
  7. SarahD
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    SarahD Member

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    I'm not sure it matters how common it is, I can name you series where there are multiple points of view and there are others with only one or two. All that really matters is how many you need to tell your story.
     
  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I don't know whether introducing a second POV character very late in a novel would be such a hot idea, although I'm sure it could be done. But if a reader gets settled into hearing the story from one voice, and then very late on another voice comes in too? Not sure about that. I think it might be very distracting and annoying. I would say, in general, if you're going to have more than one POV, it should be fairly obvious near the start of the story that's going to occur.

    How 'finished' is your first novel going to be? Will it be a stand-alone novel, which comes to a satisfactory conclusion, or will it be a definite section of an ongoing series?

    If it's a stand-alone, I'd say finish it and see what you've got before planning too far ahead. However, if it's essentially a large chapter in a much longer story, then you'll need to be directing it toward the next stage. In that case, you could maybe introduce another POV towards the end, as a cliffhangery note? I don't know. It's difficult to make a real judgment call here without actually seeing your work.

    (This is all just my own opinion, and I'm not quoting any 'expert advice' here. I'm just speaking as a reader as well as a writer, thinking about how I like the books I read to unfold.)
     

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