When Should You Add A POV Character to Your Novel?

Sometimes an author will get super in love with a character that isn’t their protagonist or main point-of-view character and they’ll think, “Maybe this sexy beast deserves their own point of view.”

Then they will second guess themselves.

Then they will go back to thinking yes.

Being an author is confusing sometimes.

When you have two protagonists (co-protagonists), you want to make sure that each get pretty close to the same amount of time in the story. They should be almost equally (if not equally) important.

So, let’s go back to that main question: When should you add a POV character or when does a character in your novel deserve to be promoted to POV.

The simplest answer is this: You need to have a good reason.

Reasons to have a story with more than one POV character include:

  1. There’s no way to tell the story from just one character’s POV because the story that’s being told NEEDS to be told from multiple perspectives. If all your characters don’t get the other characters and their motivations or they hate each other (think The Girl on the Train) then your story might be well served to have more than one POV.
  • Each POV shows us something different about the story. They have to show us something new, something the other POV can’t show us.
  • You are writing an epic beast where the story lasts for more than one lifetime.
  • You want the story to be super fast-paced. There’s a power in switching in and out of POVs when each POV ends on emotional or plot cliffhangers.
  • Each POV character has their own narrative arc, goals, big lie, and transformation.

Remember: If both your POV characters are in the same scene, you can still only show that scene from one of those characters’ POV not both.

My little, creepy book baby is out in the world because who doesn’t want sad, quirky, horror with some romantic bits for the holiday season?

It’s a young adult novel (upper) called WHEN YOU BRING THEM BACK, please buy it!

It’s super fun.

Author: carriejonesbooks

I am the NYT and internationally-bestselling author of children's books, which include the NEED series, FLYING series, TIME STOPPERS series, DEAR BULLY and other books. I like hedgehogs and puppies and warm places. I have none of these things in my life.

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