Night Vision: alternating points of view

February 18, 2015

I think this would be a good time for a giveaway. Agree?

In Night Vision, each chapter is told half from Alex’s point of view, and half from Theron’s, and I kept it to third person for both.

One of the best things about alternating pov is being able to feel and hear and know all the thoughts of each character. I think that makes a Romance fun to read, and fun to write :)

A disadvantage is trying to keep each “voice” distinct, so that it is always really clear whose head you are in as a reader. Luckily for me, Theron’s style of speech was much different from Alex’s. Theron rarely uses contractions, and he is more formal in general. Also, he is a non-native English speaker (he is Greek) so that also made his voice distinctive.

In my other books, I have used first person (not alternating, just staying in one main character’s head the entire time) and I do enjoy the intimacy that allows as well.

I do think alternating third person is my favorite, though. In the last book I wrote that way (Love You Forever) I let each character have a whole chapter before switching. But Night Vision is a novella, so more frequent shifts seemed appropriate.

I am currently working on a third person book which does not alternate, so it is told entirely from one point of view, but that one has a bit of a mystery element to it, so the more limited information helps add tension. I find myself having to fight the urge to switch to the other main character’s voice!

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So what I’d like to know is – what is your favorite point of view? First person? Third person? And also, do you prefer to switch back and forth, or to stay in one head?

Answer in the comments for a chance to win a copy of Night Vision!

8 Responses to “Night Vision: alternating points of view”

  1. JJ says:

    I prefer the POVs from both characters, so I can understand better how both are thinking/feeling.

  2. Denise says:

    I definitely prefer third person. Alternating is awesome. In each chapter is intriguing.
    I prefer to see into their heads.

  3. ameliabishop says:

    Thanks guys! I will enter you both in my contest :)

  4. Su says:

    Interesting question, sometimes I get frustrated by POV of changing and you suddenly have a character switch without it being obvious, so I have to go back a few sentences. However I do like to have the opinion from both sides, as sometimes just one characters view is influenced by their perceptions and if you actually heard the others it would be another story entirely.

    Sorry I came to your blog chat a bit late and I am now retrospectively adding comments :)

  5. H.B. says:

    I like both. I guess it depends on the story, the direction its going and how likable and complex the characters are. I’ve read books that have been told in first person or in third person and wish there was alternating pov and the opposite has been true too.

  6. Angela says:

    For me it mostly depends on the story and the authors writing style but mostly i do prefer both point of views.

  7. Milica says:

    I like to have POVs from both MCs,but switching from chapter to chapter…I read a couple of books where POVs were changing from paragraph to paragraph,and it was insane reading it. But,I like books with one POV also,but where other MC’s acts and words are strong and clear enough that we don’t need to be inside his head…Actually,when I think about it,I prefer those the most.

  8. ameliabishop says:

    Milica you have won the giveaway by random draw! I have contacted you by e-mail.
    Thanks for commenting, everyone :)

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