I love multiple POV stories! I really like when authors explore multiple characters and really give the readers a chance to take in the story from many perspectives.
Multiple POV stories work best when:
- You have many plots. The more complex the story, the more information you need to feed the reader for the story to work. Sometimes it’s just not possible to get all that information through a single protagonist. Many protagonists, however, are better suited to learning all that information. Many protagonists - especially if they aren’t working together - are also better at screwing up plans and creating chaos.
- The plot is character-based. A character-based plot means the story deals more with internal struggles than external struggles. If your plot is character based, you really want to show the reader what all the major characters are feeling. Again, a single protagonist probably isn’t privy to everyone’s emotions.
- Your POV characters don’t need equal time. And when I say equal time, I mean in chapter time or wordcount time. Devote time to the most important characters and most important situations. Do as the plot demands, not as the character demands.
- Don’t double up scenes. One of my least favorite moments in multiple POV stories is when the author covers an event with one POV character, then goes back to the beginning of the event to cover it again with another character. If you want another character’s perspective, let them remember parts of the event or revisit as little of the even as you possibly can.
- Work on voice. You want to keep those characters as distinct as possible. They are different people, after all. I have a voice tag here to get you started.
- Divide the POVs. Not with that awful fanfiction.net **KATNISS’ POV** paragraph starter. Divide POVs by chapter or put a little divider thingy in between POVs if you’re switching in the middle of a chapter.
- Keep track of information. Your POV characters will not know the same things because they live different lives and will be exposed to different situations. If your POV character suddenly knows something they shouldn’t, you’ll have a plot hole.
- Try to avoid one-shot POVs. One-shot POVs are when a character gets one POV chapter, then no others. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it feels strange to hear from a character once and then no other times.
- The plots should interact. Even if the POV characters never meet, their plots should have a common element: for example, a common struggle, a common character, or a common theme. This prevents the story from becoming a collection of badly patched short stories.