Writing How to go about MultiProtag?

Which is less confusing for readers when concerning Multiple Protagonists?

  • Change POV by chapter

    Votes: 8 88.9%
  • Separate story releases

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 1 11.1%

  • Total voters
    9
  • Poll closed .

MrTiemos

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Jul 15, 2019
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To specify what I’m asking about: I’m thinking of making a story that has Multiple Protagonists (3, maybe 4). Now, how do I go about this so it’s not atrociously confusing to readers?
I’m thinking of 2 different ways to do so (in the poll below), but if you have an idea otherwise then please do voice your viewpoint.
 

Phantomheart

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Feb 13, 2019
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MultiProtag is definitely a hard thing to achieve, but it depends on just how active your main characters are: if they are actually all the protagonists.

I'd recommend looking at the Heroes of Olympus story by Rick Riordan for an example of chapter by chapter POV change, and the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer for separate book releases. You can usually find free audio readings of the books on youtube.

If your story is built so that the protagonists get together form the start and work together from the start, then I would suggest chapter by chapter change. But, if you want an in depth story and background for each character, I would go for the separate releases.
 

MrTiemos

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Jul 15, 2019
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MultiProtag is definitely a hard thing to achieve, but it depends on just how active your main characters are: if they are actually all the protagonists.

I'd recommend looking at the Heroes of Olympus story by Rick Riordan for an example of chapter by chapter POV change, and the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer for separate book releases. You can usually find free audio readings of the books on youtube.

If your story is built so that the protagonists get together form the start and work together from the start, then I would suggest chapter by chapter change. But, if you want an in depth story and background for each character, I would go for the separate releases.
Well, sounds like I’ve got more work (reading) to do before beginning with this work. Thank you for the recommendations.
 

jinxs2011

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Dec 23, 2018
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I would more recommend looking at the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson, although Heroes of Olympus is also fairly good. It does it by chapter, although it doesn't always switch each chapter, from memory. I would probably say don't feel a need to switch character every chapter if that's how you do it.

You could do the same story multiple times from different character's POV's, but that's more suited to mystery sort of stories, and not really long novels.

If you decide to change POV's mid-chapter, you need to have a very clear indicator of when that happens. For my own novel, when I do that sort of thing, I make a horizontal line, then have the new character's name in brackets below it before I get into their perspective. Not saying that this is the best way to do it, just as an example.
 

Chiisutofupuru

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Mar 12, 2019
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What perspective are you in?
If you're writing in the first person perspective, then I'd suggest don't switch unless you can give each character their own inner voice (and that's like having two different writing styles... not easy).
If you're writing in the third limited perspective, then you can switch characters as many times as you change scenes. I don't recommend doing that, but you can.
By chapter is the safest option for sure ^^
 

UndyingEmbers

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Jul 6, 2019
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The way I see it is that there are a few reasons to have mutli-protag and to do different POV, but either way, I highly encourage the style of switching by chapter if possible. The way I use it, and I'm far from an expert, is to show protagonists who are far apart, show a different person's perspective (IE: a villian/side character), or to showcase different parts of my fantasy worlds that the hero may one day visit or hear about. Typically I don't recommend changing POV if it's someone who is actually accompanying your main hero. Hope this helped.
 

Mejiro

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Aug 27, 2019
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Definitely do different chapters, or at least very obvious divisions, e.g.


-------------------------------------



or something similar. Also, try to make sure they have fairly distinct 'voices' - if everyone is a dry and snarky (say), it will be hard to tell who each chapter is told by. Ideally, even without a title, a reader should be able to read each one and go 'oh, that's a <xxxx> chapter', from the tone and style of the writing, and what they observe and how they interact with things.
 
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