Different POVs.

Ekfreet

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Do you like to read different POVs?

What do you like to read in a POV?

How many POVs do you think are too many for a single chapter?

What makes a POV good? Can you link an example?

POV means point of view btw.
 

Moctemma

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Yes

Relevant thoughts of different characters, their interpretation of the situation, their true desires, ambitions, goals, etc.

How many words? For 3K only two, 5K+ three; I'm counting them based on characters, back and forth changes between the same characters can be a lot more.

That is relevant. It should be used when the current character is unable to provide enough information, so we not only get another perspective and learn more from the other character and about them, we also understand the deeper consequences of the actions and decisions of the characters.
A good example is a life changing decision, it's great to see what motivates the characters to follow the protagonist (for example).
Think of the reaction each character has to an important event, who gives the most interesting and deep reaction? That's the one we would like to read about, it also has to be useful for the story.
Note: you can also do the opposite and change the POV to hide information from the reader.

I would like to point out what a bad use of POVs is. Have you ever read the same irrelevant event over and over from irrelevant characters that will be removed from the novel? That's the worst and is something the author of Running away from the hero did.
 

lnv

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Yes, different POVs can bring a lot to the table as you can fill in the blanks or in some cases get a different feel for what the MC or some character did.

That said, I would really avoid changing POV in the same chapter. If you are gonna do it, don't do it more than once. You can do a back and forth if you think it is really necessary but I would really avoid a POV change as much as possible. Why? Because of immersion. POV changes break immersion, so if it is gonna be done make sure it is really really necessary to do it right there.

Generally, I prefer to stick different POVs into intermissions and keep them away from the main story when possible. But sometimes you gotta do them in the main story, just gotta limit it if possible.
 

K5Rakitan

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That said, I would really avoid changing POV in the same chapter.
Exactly! Getting into someone else's headspace takes too much focus. If want to dig into the emotions of multiple characters in the same scene without entirely rewriting the chapter from another person's POV, stick with third person.
 

weakwithwords

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Bells and whistles and all that jazz. Just imagine it from a first time reader's perspective. Will I get annoyed reading this?
 
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Head-hopping (Switching POV without any second thought) is something I used to do but now I only stick with one for a chapter, then change if it is really necessary for the plot.
But, sometimes changing PoV, showing the world from different eyes can breathe fresh air in your story. It always depends on how you decide to utilize this.
 

Friend

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Eh ... for me, someone who writes with multiple PoV's in chapters ... it's a pragmatic issue.

I will write a chapter however it damn well feels right to write. Any amount of PoV's as is necessary, and no more than that.

I have at times added as well as removed different perspectives because PLOT. Sometimes I start writing and then shift PoV because a dialog might be better from someone else's inner monologue or because I want a specific reaction ― but then also might revamp it later because the plot itself either gets heavier or lighter. And then the original PoV swapping or arrangement might be out of sync for the overall "feel" of a chapter, so of course it must get the red pen treatment.

That said ... I have no care at all for going according to wordcount in a chapter for number of character PoV ― sometimes a PoV scene can be exceedingly short, or long, or moderate length ― what feels right is right; what feels wrong is wrong. I don't see it as wrong in the first place, it's a non-issue. (It's all a fictional story anyway; doesn't the reader get the point no matter whose PoV it's in? Is my job to make a reader care why this character is front-and-center more than any other? Nah, just let them read ... and then hopefully comment. lol)
 

AliceShiki

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I'm not very fond of multiple PoV myself, but it is a valid option you can use as needed.

Just uhn... Stick to the same PoV throught the chapter. It just flows better like this.
 

yansusustories

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I normally use the third-person omniscient POV so there is actually only one POV throughout the story/a chapter but all relevant parts can still be shown regardless of which character they are connected to.
If we're not talking omniscient though, I also feel that there shouldn't be a change between POVs of different characters in the same chapter or rather scene. I think you can have several scenes in one chapter and can change the POV with each new one.
As for first-person POV, I immensely dislike (as a reader) any change of POV at all regardless of where in the story it happens. It would be one of the major reasons for me to put down a story. I shouldn't have to check the name an author puts in the headline and keep it in mind for reading. It's the easiest way to break my immersion and frustrate me to no end.
 

AliceShiki

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As for first-person POV, I immensely dislike (as a reader) any change of POV at all regardless of where in the story it happens. It would be one of the major reasons for me to put down a story. I shouldn't have to check the name an author puts in the headline and keep it in mind for reading. It's the easiest way to break my immersion and frustrate me to no end.
Mmmmmmmm, you don't like interludes and stuff like it? I mean... It's pretty common for those to be in different PoVs.

Like, I dunno, for me it's pretty easy to change the mind from one character to another when the chapter title already says it's from a different PoV...
 

yansusustories

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Mmmmmmmm, you don't like interludes and stuff like it? I mean... It's pretty common for those to be in different PoVs.

Like, I dunno, for me it's pretty easy to change the mind from one character to another when the chapter title already says it's from a different PoV...
I do like them but not if they're in the first PoV of a different character :blob_sweat: Like, I don't know if you've read The Kingkiller's Chronicles? If I remember correctly, it's also written in first PoV most of the time (with a sprinkle of neutral and omniscient here and there I'd say? It's been some time since I've read it though), and there are prologues and interludes and epilogs but they are all in the same PoV.

Tbh, I generally don't like reading in first PoV very much but it's alright as long as it stays the PoV of just one character. If it doesn't, I find that extremely annoying. Some extra after the end of the main story would be alright for me though but if the story is told from one character's perspective, then I'd please like to get the whole story told from that perspective and no other than that.

Everything else seems (sorry, this sounds harsh but it's just how it affects me) incredibly lazy to me. It's like "I couldn't find another way to put this tidbit of information in here that I wanted to share so now deal with the change in PoV!"
I think the reason for that is this: Part of what is nice (IMO) about first PoV is that the reader can be much closer to the character in question. You know the same stuff they do and you don't know the stuff they don't. So I'd much rather slowly uncover that kind of info with that character (makes for some great tension IMO) instead of suddenly being told and knowing more than the character (especially if it's about the oh-so-hidden feelings some character had or the background of their decisions. Like, do I actually need to know that at this point? I fairly often feel that I don't when reading that type of story.). Otherwise, it just takes the fun out of it for me.

Also, yeah, sure, I could check the names at the beginning of the chapter. But the thing is: I do like taking breaks. Both between chapters and also in the middle of one if there's a scene change. So it can be hours, days, and sometimes even weeks before I continue to read a novel. Heck, I've had some that I've picked up again after several months only. Having to check for the names and dealing with a new character every chapter just makes that a chore. So I feel that (and this might make me sound like a snob, I fully realize that) maybe if a story has to have a change of PoV every chapter, then maybe the first PoV (which normally makes names in the or as the heading necessary as well) just wasn't a very good match for it. I guess lots of people see that completely different but that's just how I feel.
 

Ddraig

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Do you like to read different POVs?
Yes

What makes a POV good? Can you link an example?
Baccano / Durararararararararararararararararararararara
Sister's arc in Index and Railgun.

How many POVs do you think are too many for a single chapter?
It honestly depends on what your chapter length is, 4 pov in a 1000 word chapter is quite a bit different from say, 4 pov in a 10000 word chapter.
 

AliceShiki

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I do like them but not if they're in the first PoV of a different character :blob_sweat: Like, I don't know if you've read The Kingkiller's Chronicles? If I remember correctly, it's also written in first PoV most of the time (with a sprinkle of neutral and omniscient here and there I'd say? It's been some time since I've read it though), and there are prologues and interludes and epilogs but they are all in the same PoV.

Tbh, I generally don't like reading in first PoV very much but it's alright as long as it stays the PoV of just one character. If it doesn't, I find that extremely annoying. Some extra after the end of the main story would be alright for me though but if the story is told from one character's perspective, then I'd please like to get the whole story told from that perspective and no other than that.

Everything else seems (sorry, this sounds harsh but it's just how it affects me) incredibly lazy to me. It's like "I couldn't find another way to put this tidbit of information in here that I wanted to share so now deal with the change in PoV!"
I think the reason for that is this: Part of what is nice (IMO) about first PoV is that the reader can be much closer to the character in question. You know the same stuff they do and you don't know the stuff they don't. So I'd much rather slowly uncover that kind of info with that character (makes for some great tension IMO) instead of suddenly being told and knowing more than the character (especially if it's about the oh-so-hidden feelings some character had or the background of their decisions. Like, do I actually need to know that at this point? I fairly often feel that I don't when reading that type of story.). Otherwise, it just takes the fun out of it for me.

Also, yeah, sure, I could check the names at the beginning of the chapter. But the thing is: I do like taking breaks. Both between chapters and also in the middle of one if there's a scene change. So it can be hours, days, and sometimes even weeks before I continue to read a novel. Heck, I've had some that I've picked up again after several months only. Having to check for the names and dealing with a new character every chapter just makes that a chore. So I feel that (and this might make me sound like a snob, I fully realize that) maybe if a story has to have a change of PoV every chapter, then maybe the first PoV (which normally makes names in the or as the heading necessary as well) just wasn't a very good match for it. I guess lots of people see that completely different but that's just how I feel.
Oh, I don't like changing PoVs all the time either, I like it when a story focuses on one character only and sticks to it.

That said, I feel like one chapter every now and then from someone else's perspective to introduce something the MC isn't aware of can be quite nice. I like it when it's done sparringly though... Changing PoVs all the time feel like a hassle to me.

Like uhn... Using my own story as an example, I did one chapter that changed PoVs in my story to explain why a certain character behaved the way they did... And like, sure, the MC did find out why in due time, but the thing is... The motivation behind the other character's actions would honestly look really silly to the readers. (Because it was a silly motivation, the other character was basically overworrying about a small issue)

So uhn... It would kinda have a terrible delivery if I just let the readers find out together with the MC? So instead, I gave the info to the readers firs by going through it from a PoV change, making them understand how the character felt and what led their actions to go the way they did. And I think it worked out nicely to me.

So well, at least to me it feels like PoV changes are a valid tool that should be used sparingly in a 1st person PoV story, in order to show something that wouldn't be properly delivered to the reader if the PoV never changed.
 

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I won't try to infer I'm trying to change your mind if you still prefer only one, so much as provide proper validation as to why writers can and do share this thought process of changing them. Some may just shake their head, say something like 'to each their own', and just move on. I'm fine with that. If you're a reader or a writer then at least you have a reason how/why you got to your opinion. Writing and reading are all very personal habits, and no two people are always going to agree for both. But I dislike seeing opinion posts show up in fora and it seems like opposing views keep being recycled.

I will also presume we are all agreed, we are talking first person, and not second or third person? As the 'head narrator' so to speak. Writing 'I' instead of 'he' or 'she'. (Though curious too, I did one chap in which I have an MC in 1p then scene-switch with a different char in 3p ... and then back to MC in 1p. I'm fine with that.)

Oh but as a writer, it can be extremely ... what's the word ... "boring" comes close but I don't mean so much that. Some writers like me just ... do not want to do a WHOLE FRIKKIN STORY in just one PoV -- because it does become tedious. Yes. Tedious, is the word; because of the meaning involved for always and only giving dialog and scenery from one PoV. It's static, not dynamic. (I mean no offense to fellow writers who stick with one PoV ... but it seems sad to me. Which is why my reaction is "this is how I do it because it lends a story a dynamic nature" instead of a "shame on you for bringing all this static content before readers".)

I know for myself, I want the variety and spontaneity of having multiple PoV's in a story, and in a chapter. To the point of, I just don't even know anymore, why a reader desires only one PoV (even if they explain 'their side' too) ... when another PoV in this-or-that scene would work better, then DUH, I will switch to it there.

*sigh* Breathe in, breathe out.... *sigh* ... (mini)rant over? Hmm, I hope.

But. As to those who are only readers, not writers ... is the break or shift in perspective really a deal-killer to lose your interest? TBH before this post, I'd not even given it more than a passing thought. "PoV is PoV." Could you as a reader understand my earlier statement, about the tedious bit? Can you then know, in my writing, I am trying to not lose interest in the story so I do not give up writing it, as a reason for shifting PoV?

This. This is a core reason why I will always be shifting around. Always. Because either the story demands it ... or I do ... to continue to provide you with regular chapters and not lose my mind (further).

{Edit: I did try just sticking to one PoV, once, in a story I published on RR ... "I became a building..." for anyone interested. It's only a short story, but something I'd thought of rewriting/republishing at a later time.}
 
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yansusustories

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As to those who are only readers, not writers ... is the break or shift in perspective really a deal-killer to lose your interest? TBH before this post, I'd not even given it more than a passing thought. "PoV is PoV." Could you as a reader understand my earlier statement, about the tedious bit?
I can at least say that I had that opinion before I started writing. One of my favorite authors at the time actually did that in a series and it was pure agony. The chapter headings were just "Chapter 1", "Chapter 2", and so on and then the name of the character whose PoV it was. I regularly tripped up and didn't know who the hell was the PoV character. I only pulled through that one because it was an author I knew. I disliked the series quite a bit though and haven't re-read it even once since then despite the fact that I liked how the story itself went.

I do understand where you're coming from though. As a reader (and partly as an author too even though I don't have that problem because of the omniscient narrator as I said), I'd say that it depends on how interesting the character is. Like, if they (and the story, of course) are entertaining enough, then I don't find it boring in the least to follow a whole story with just them as the PoV character.
Case in point: The series I mentioned before is a spin-off to another series and the original one is written from only the PoV of the main character with no switches whatsoever. I've re-read all six volumes of that series several times to the point where I was able to quote sentences from that thing at the time. (Yeah, I'm that type of reader.) So yeah, just one character can be everything it needs.
 

AliceShiki

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I won't try to infer I'm trying to change your mind if you still prefer only one, so much as provide proper validation as to why writers can and do share this thought process of changing them. Some may just shake their head, say something like 'to each their own', and just move on. I'm fine with that. If you're a reader or a writer then at least you have a reason how/why you got to your opinion. Writing and reading are all very personal habits, and no two people are always going to agree for both. But I dislike seeing opinion posts show up in fora and it seems like opposing views keep being recycled.

I will also presume we are all agreed, we are talking first person, and not second or third person? As the 'head narrator' so to speak. Writing 'I' instead of 'he' or 'she'. (Though curious too, I did one chap in which I have an MC in 1p then scene-switch with a different char in 3p ... and then back to MC in 1p. I'm fine with that.)

Oh but as a writer, it can be extremely ... what's the word ... "boring" comes close but I don't mean so much that. Some writers like me just ... do not want to do a WHOLE FRIKKIN STORY in just one PoV -- because it does become tedious. Yes. Tedious, is the word; because of the meaning involved for always and only giving dialog and scenery from one PoV. It's static, not dynamic. (I mean no offense to fellow writers who stick with one PoV ... but it seems sad to me. Which is why my reaction is "this is how I do it because it lends a story a dynamic nature" instead of a "shame on you for bringing all this static content before readers".)

I know for myself, I want the variety and spontaneity of having multiple PoV's in a story, and in a chapter. To the point of, I just don't even know anymore, why a reader desires only one PoV (even if they explain 'their side' too) ... when another PoV in this-or-that scene would work better, then DUH, I will switch to it there.

*sigh* Breathe in, breathe out.... *sigh* ... (mini)rant over? Hmm, I hope.

But. As to those who are only readers, not writers ... is the break or shift in perspective really a deal-killer to lose your interest? TBH before this post, I'd not even given it more than a passing thought. "PoV is PoV." Could you as a reader understand my earlier statement, about the tedious bit? Can you then know, in my writing, I am trying to not lose interest in the story so I do not give up writing it, as a reason for shifting PoV?

This. This is a core reason why I will always be shifting around. Always. Because either the story demands it ... or I do ... to continue to provide you with regular chapters and not lose my mind (further).

{Edit: I did try just sticking to one PoV, once, in a story I published on RR ... "I became a building..." for anyone interested. It's only a short story, but something I'd thought of rewriting/republishing at a later time.}
I don't really get your point much tbh. Single PoV means you're limiting the amount of information that the reader has access to as to what the MC has access to. That by itself can be pretty interesting~

Trying to understand the motivations of what other characters are doing, but without being able to know it because you can only see as far as the MC can see... That's very sweet~

It's a pretty different experience from knowing everything because the story changes the PoV all the time, suddenly you now know much more than the characters you're reading about do... Which isn't as interesting to me.
 

Friend

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I have this ultimate ... "Earth Shattering" ... viewpoint of my own. I believe, everything in a story is about worldbuilding. Point of view issues, too.

I don't really get your point much tbh. Single PoV means you're limiting the amount of information that the reader has access to as to what the MC has access to. That by itself can be pretty interesting~
I do agree this is a valid perspective for you. But I on the other hand might not understand why you may wish to constrain it to only this. A further answer runs into the next bit-

Trying to understand the motivations of what other characters are doing, but without being able to know it because you can only see as far as the MC can see... That's very sweet~
I think I see ... in part to me it's about the depth of an author's worldbuilding too. PoV relying on the worldbuilding? Yeah. If I can see various scenes from other perspectives, then maybe I too can assume an author has done proper 'worldbuilding' and thought through the various other perspectives. Otherwise, kept stuck 'in one head' ... from reading many stories, I've got a feeling MC's end up being bland or ... carbon copies of the authors maybe. "Wish fulfillment" is a thing, of course; those types of stories are all about the one PoV. Fine, okay, but I'm less interested in them.
Because maybe I also started out in reading on RR and other sites, stories which started and ended all too soon; but ... why they ended? The posted chapters didn't show enough serious concern for worldbuilding, and so I assume an author 'gave up' too soon. Or again, wish fulfillment, and the self-insert main character views-

Ultimately I may even say ... I feel some (young/neophyte) writers/authors post their works too soon to begin with; and that's why I'm seeing so many stories (here and elsewhere) just ... dropped. A properly filled out ... and built up ... world will take time. Eh ... if I'm writing for fun and less about concern, I'd still take a moment to think over consequences. At some point a reader will say 'Hey what about when ...' and then I'd have to either explain or retcon something; more so worrisome if it's a story I care about. But how does it have anything to do with points of view? If I myself have a care for point of view ... I'll worldbuild so then I have the knowledge of what's happening in each (hopefully unique) world, thus so do the characters. I can't do more to influence other authors to slow down and worldbuild more, than to admit I have stories from the 90s I'm still working on and tweaking. -- also another reason you won't find me submitting anything for a contest -- there isn't enough time for me to worldbuild properly.

For a story world or universe to be more valid to me ... an author should know it's a living storyverse he or she is writing, whatever term is apropos. I fear it may be too easy for someone to just start writing one PoV and nothing else without asking all the inward questions about the basics of this or that part of a story world. Because then they never challenge themselves to write it in other ways. Would "World Keeper" have been as interesting to read the starting chapters if the writer had not thought through the consequences of some mortal truck driver accidentally driving over the previous world deity ... and then, seeing the views from this beastkin tribe leader, or that elven leader, or the feminine companions? So ... that makes sense to me. Otherwise if it was left only to the MC PoV ... I'd not get hints of 'mortal perspectives' in this story, and it'd be nothing more than a guy playing a game (in a deific realm instead of on computer) with (sometimes helpful) companions.

It's a pretty different experience from knowing everything because the story changes the PoV all the time, suddenly you now know much more than the characters you're reading about do... Which isn't as interesting to me.
Oh but it is interesting to me at least, to switch PoV; I always like knowing more. In the above cited "World Keeper" example, especially reading through those mortal-focused scenes, I did have a curious wonder as to what he (the MC) or Terra or other companions would do if they were influencing things. Maybe I'm subconsciously worldbuilding other authors' stories in my own time reading; makes a story world 'come alive' in my mind at times. (Turns out, Terra did a lot of little tweaks on her own, for the betterment or fate of the beastkin tribe.)
 

AliceShiki

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I have this ultimate ... "Earth Shattering" ... viewpoint of my own. I believe, everything in a story is about worldbuilding. Point of view issues, too.


I do agree this is a valid perspective for you. But I on the other hand might not understand why you may wish to constrain it to only this. A further answer runs into the next bit-


I think I see ... in part to me it's about the depth of an author's worldbuilding too. PoV relying on the worldbuilding? Yeah. If I can see various scenes from other perspectives, then maybe I too can assume an author has done proper 'worldbuilding' and thought through the various other perspectives. Otherwise, kept stuck 'in one head' ... from reading many stories, I've got a feeling MC's end up being bland or ... carbon copies of the authors maybe. "Wish fulfillment" is a thing, of course; those types of stories are all about the one PoV. Fine, okay, but I'm less interested in them.
Because maybe I also started out in reading on RR and other sites, stories which started and ended all too soon; but ... why they ended? The posted chapters didn't show enough serious concern for worldbuilding, and so I assume an author 'gave up' too soon. Or again, wish fulfillment, and the self-insert main character views-

Ultimately I may even say ... I feel some (young/neophyte) writers/authors post their works too soon to begin with; and that's why I'm seeing so many stories (here and elsewhere) just ... dropped. A properly filled out ... and built up ... world will take time. Eh ... if I'm writing for fun and less about concern, I'd still take a moment to think over consequences. At some point a reader will say 'Hey what about when ...' and then I'd have to either explain or retcon something; more so worrisome if it's a story I care about. But how does it have anything to do with points of view? If I myself have a care for point of view ... I'll worldbuild so then I have the knowledge of what's happening in each (hopefully unique) world, thus so do the characters. I can't do more to influence other authors to slow down and worldbuild more, than to admit I have stories from the 90s I'm still working on and tweaking. -- also another reason you won't find me submitting anything for a contest -- there isn't enough time for me to worldbuild properly.

For a story world or universe to be more valid to me ... an author should know it's a living storyverse he or she is writing, whatever term is apropos. I fear it may be too easy for someone to just start writing one PoV and nothing else without asking all the inward questions about the basics of this or that part of a story world. Because then they never challenge themselves to write it in other ways. Would "World Keeper" have been as interesting to read the starting chapters if the writer had not thought through the consequences of some mortal truck driver accidentally driving over the previous world deity ... and then, seeing the views from this beastkin tribe leader, or that elven leader, or the feminine companions? So ... that makes sense to me. Otherwise if it was left only to the MC PoV ... I'd not get hints of 'mortal perspectives' in this story, and it'd be nothing more than a guy playing a game (in a deific realm instead of on computer) with (sometimes helpful) companions.


Oh but it is interesting to me at least, to switch PoV; I always like knowing more. In the above cited "World Keeper" example, especially reading through those mortal-focused scenes, I did have a curious wonder as to what he (the MC) or Terra or other companions would do if they were influencing things. Maybe I'm subconsciously worldbuilding other authors' stories in my own time reading; makes a story world 'come alive' in my mind at times. (Turns out, Terra did a lot of little tweaks on her own, for the betterment or fate of the beastkin tribe.)
Ah, I'd say I just don't care too much for the worldbuilding I guess?

I usually just assume it's a generic medi-fantasy setting and I assume that any reader trying to pick up the story will feel the same. Any specific gaps in the world building will be filled as I go... >.>

It's just not my focus I guess, so I don't give it too much thought.
 

D4isuke

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Instead of switching POV, why not choose the third POV omniscient? It’s more reliable if you execute it well other than just to head hop each and every character.
 
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