There are many stories written in one character’s perspective, but a lot of books are composed of two or more perspectives. And I am finding that more and more readers are enjoying getting into the heads of both the hero and heroine in romance books.
If you want to write a story with two character perspectives, and never attempted it before, the main thing you have to remember is not to head-hop. Head-hopping is when you’re in one character’s perspective, but then you include a sentence from another character’s perspective. Simply adding in what a character thinks when you’re not in their perspective is head-hopping. (I used to have this problem, but I’ve learned to prevent it from happening.)
TIP #1: It’s also always a good idea to give your story to a beta reader or two, because they can always catch head-hopping a lot easier than you probably can.
Here are a couple of ways you can write a story from two character’s perspectives:
1. Devote one chapter to the heroine and one chapter to the hero and keep alternating back and forth. This is actually probably the easiest method (at least in my opinion) because it allows you to write a whole chapter in one character’s voice. And once you get into your story, it becomes easier to smoothly switch from one character’s POV to another. This method is also easy for the reader because they don’t have to guess whose POV will be coming next.
2. Write in one character’s perspective then indicate a scene break with a blank line, insert the pound symbol (# or some editors prefer this ***), and hit the enter key again for another blank line before beginning the new scene in another character’s perspective. This method is nice if you want to reveal both character’s thoughts and actions during the same event.
TIP #2: Always make it clear whose perspective you’re in right away. Don’t make a reader guess. State the character’s name within the first few sentences.
If you want to use more than two POVs you can:
1. Title the chapter with the character’s name.
2. Hint at which character’s POV you’ll be in next. This can be done by ending a scene with: “Cory turned to Samantha. “What do you think we should do?” Then beginning the next scene with: Samantha shook her head. “I don’t know what to do.”
3. Set up a rhythm your readers can expect. This can easily be boy-girl-boy-girl or Character 1-Character 2-Character 1-Character 3-Character 1-Character 2-Character 1-Character 3-Character 1 and so on.
Readers: Do you prefer to read books with one, two or three+ character POVs? Does it matter?
Writers: How many POVs do you prefer when you’re writing?
My Answer: I personally prefer one or two character POVs when I’m writing. As for reading, as long as I can easily follow the story, I don’t mind if a story has one or more POV changes.