I'm currently banging away at the second draft of my first novel, and I'm wondering if I'm skipping around too much. In first draft mode I'm happy to listen to my gut, but now I'm knee deep in the rewrite I'm less certain.
My story is in close third-person - or at least it will be when I've finished cutting the not-really omniscient rubbish I started off with. There are five viewpoint characters in total: the pair of detectives leading the story, a lab guy who they're chasing, a network guy at the same lab, and a security guard there too.
I'm comfortable with the number of viewpoints, and in general I'm rationing them out. The second detective doesn't get his own POV chapter until about halfway through, by which time his character should be well-established, and Frank the security guard turns up a little way after the midpoint, having been a bit player in the first act. I didn't want to do all five up front for fear of drowning the reader in new characters and situations.
My worry is, though, that I'm doing just that with the other three POVs. Chapter One is all the lead detective and introduction to her partner - happy with that. Chapter Two, though, has 1,000 words with the network guy, around another 1,000 words with the lab fella, and then 500 back with the network guy. Chapter Three is back to the detective, and after that it's back to normal service of only changing viewpoint at chapter breaks, and pretty much equal spread of story across these three.
Leaving aside my permanent worry that the second chapter is all infodump, would you find this many POV switches in the first three chapters disorienting or off-putting? I realise that the answer of "it depends on how well you're written it" probably applies here, but still...