We’ve been discussing points of view for a few weeks now. The last two posts focused on first person and third person limited point of view. The second sub-category we are going to focus on is third person multiple point of view (POV).
Here’s the recap: the narrator is not a character in the story, the story follows more than one character but the narrator sticks with only one viewpoint at a time, and the pronouns “he”, “she”, “they”, and “it” are used to tell the story.
The Pros of Third Person Multiple POV:
- The main benefit is the ability to switch between multiple viewpoints easily which is helpful for development of characters and plot.
- It allows for many different voices and perspectives which can keep the story fresh and in turn help keep the reader engaged.
- It allows for a broader scope of the world to be explored because it is not limited to the worldview of one character.
- The reader gets to see the bigger picture by showing different perspectives of the events.
The Cons of Third Person Multiple POV:
- Finding the right balance between the narrator’s voice and the character’s voice can be difficult.
- Each viewpoint character must have a distinct voice which can be difficult for some authors to maintain.
- Too many viewpoint characters can be confusing for the reader to keep track of.
- To balance each viewpoint, the character will get less dedicated page-time which may result in the reader not connecting as fully with the characters.
- In third person multiple POV, the author must ensure that each viewpoint character has a distinct voice and offers a perspective which is different from any of the other viewpoint characters.
Did I miss any pros or cons of the third person multiple point of view? Let me know in the comments.