The Pros and Cons of Switching POV’s

Hello, readers!

I haven’t always been one for switching point of views (POV’s) in my stories, but when writing the second draft of True Colors, I knew that I really needed to do it. I needed to be able to step into Connor and Astrid’s minds and really be able to feel what they were feeling and see what they were seeing. 

It was hard at times because most of the time I wanted to stay in one mind through the book, but I know that overall it was good that I chose this route. Here’s why:

Switching POV’s allowed me to delve deeper into my character’s feelings and helped me understand each of them better. 

In my original draft I only wrote from Connor’s POV because he is the main character, but coming into the second draft made me realize how important it is to understand Astrid’s side, too. This story isn’t just about Connor – it’s also about the relationship he and Astrid share and in order for me to better develop that it just made more sense for me to write from both of their POV’s. That way I’m not only understanding Connor’s perspective and feelings, but Astrid’s as well. 

Without doing this, I didn’t know Astrid’s overall feelings toward him. I had an idea, but I didn’t understand her thoughts and feelings half as well as I did when I wrote from her POV.

Switching up POV’s also aided in adding more to my story. I was not only able to delve into their backstories a little more freely, but I was also able to write scenes that didn’t exist before.

For example, in my first draft there is a scene where Astrid learns a great secret and she won’t share it with Connor and he goes off, angry that she won’t share what she’s learned. This scene is more bent on Astrid’s perspective, so you don’t get to follow Connor and see where he ends up. 

But in my second draft I wrote the scene entirely from Connor’s POV and I felt like it was so much more powerful and beneficial to the story to be able to fully grasp his emotions and follow him when he walks away and see what he does. It’s such a huge part of the story that is the beginning of the end, so seeing Connor’s POV is way more beneficial. 

 

Switching POV’s definitely has it’s downside, though. I found myself (though completely unaware at the time) not switching POV’s enough or maybe even doing it too often because I wanted to see the other’s perspective.

I think in this draft I ended up making Astrid too big of a character because I was having too much fun with her. I don’t want to make Astrid bigger than Connor because overall this is Connor’s story. 

It’s so easy to get caught up in learning more about your characters through this method, so just be careful to keep the POV’s organized – like every other chapter or something like that. This makes it clean and your reader won’t be like – hey, it’s been stuck on __’s POV for four chapters now, what happened to ___?

So it definitely has it’s cons (and obviously I still need to work some things out in my book), but overall I think switching POV’s is great as long as it benefits the story. 

RECAP




  • Switching POV's can help you better understand your character



  • Switching POV's can aid in adding more depth and new scenes to your story



  • Switching POV's can assist in telling your character's backstory

Talk to me!

Do you switch POV’s in your stories? Do you like reading books with different POV’s? Why or why not? 

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Comments

  1. olivehiddenhollow

    one of the things i like best in switching pov’s is when you randomly get a chapter on the villain’s pov, and then you know what your characters are in for next. XD
    Most crazily, ~Olive

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  2. Julia

    This is a really great post! I mostly tell my own story from one point of view, but sometimes, I slide into another character’s. I don’t even really plan that I’m going to. It’s more like I’m just trying to show the scene from the best POV that it could be? And develop all the characters, but also show each of them from one another’s POV? I don’t know, I’m weird that way. 😆 (But hey, at least it works. 😉)

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      JaclynnMarie

      Thank you, Julia! I’m glad you thought so 🙂 Haha, yes, I’ve done that, too, actually! ;D
      ~Jaclynn~

  3. Sarah Keatts

    Great post. For me, my current WIP is in first POV so I think it’s more difficult to switch POVs (though I have seen it done). I’ve considered switching POVs but for what I’m writing it isn’t that necessary. Though I would love to do that in the future when I work on something else.
    Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

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      JaclynnMarie

      Thank you! 🙂 I’m actually planning on doing that in my next story – it can definitely be done, though I get what you mean by it being more difficult.
      You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed it 😀
      ~Jaclynn~

  4. Diamond

    I think this is a great post! I’ve never liked switching POVs, but I can totally see it being beneficial after reading this post. I think your book sounds amazing and I can’t wait to see more of your writing posts!

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  5. Zella T

    I’ve never thought about switching POV’s before. I’m writing a story with 4 girls but from the POV of only one of them. It’s too late in my drafting to rearrange the POVs but I’ll think about it for next time! You certainly gave me meat to chew on.

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      JaclynnMarie

      Oh, yes, switching POV’s could be great for you, Zella! Though it’s not always needed, so just be careful. You don’t want to do it unless it’ll serve the story. 🙂
      I’m glad this post was thought provoking for you and good luck with your story! What’s it about? 🙂
      ~Jaclynn~

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