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Jan74
11-07-2019, 10:29 PM
After reading the other thread about POV it dawned on me that my novel has....gulp....dare I say it....5 pov.:gone:

I put this wip down for awhile as I needed to finish something, so I wrote a short story and submitted it to a cbc contest. I did this for my own peace of mind that I actually could finish and have a stranger read something I wrote. It was terrifying to submit but it gave my deflated ego a boost.

Now that that is done and the results of the contest won't be reached until april I can resume my novel.

I have two sisters in my novel, and three men. All have their own pov but it mainly surrounds the two sisters. I've thought about peeling the sisters apart and maybe this is two individual books...but I can't and I want their stories told together. Here's the problem, the 3 men I like all of their pov, especially the bad guy, I think he's my favorite to write and he's the most unlikable man in the book.

Am I nuts? I've pretty much decided to self publish so I'm not worried about some agent passing me up, and I've read many books with 4 pov...but 5? Is the main thing that the reader can keep it straight? That each character is engaging and the reader doesn't want to skip through pov?

If anyone has examples of great romance novels with many pov that would be nice and appreciated.

LJD
11-07-2019, 11:08 PM
Out of curiosity...what genre are you writing? Is this women's fiction or romance? You say two sisters, so it sounds like women's fiction...

KBooks
11-08-2019, 02:43 AM
Ditto what Jackie said. Women's fiction, sure, I just read a novel with three sisters, all with a POV, plus the POV of their mother. Romance I more commonly see 2-POV or 1-POV.

I can think of a YA fantasy with six POVs that worked well (they were all quite distinct) and a YA thriller that didn't (they were all in high school--3 boys, 3 girls, all in the same friend circle, and I kept mixing them up. I dnf'ed after maybe 25 pages.)

screenscope
11-08-2019, 03:06 AM
People get caught up on this question, but the number of POVs has zero importance. The more important question is whether you have found the best way of telling your story.

I tend to use five or six, although my first novel has more than 20, as I think it's a great way of developing all the characters in a fast-moving story.

Jan74
11-08-2019, 04:13 AM
Out of curiosity...what genre are you writing? Is this women's fiction or romance? You say two sisters, so it sounds like women's fiction...
This wip in particular would definitely be romance.

Ditto what Jackie said. Women's fiction, sure, I just read a novel with three sisters, all with a POV, plus the POV of their mother. Romance I more commonly see 2-POV or 1-POV.

I can think of a YA fantasy with six POVs that worked well (they were all quite distinct) and a YA thriller that didn't (they were all in high school--3 boys, 3 girls, all in the same friend circle, and I kept mixing them up. I dnf'ed after maybe 25 pages.)
Sorry what does dnf'ed mean? Sorry I've reread your sentence a few times and I still don't know what word that is.


People get caught up on this question, but the number of POVs has zero importance. The more important question is whether you have found the best way of telling your story.

I tend to use five or six, although my first novel has more than 20, as I think it's a great way of developing all the characters in a fast-moving story.

20 wow...ok so 5 isn't so bad. And I agree the pov shouldn't matter but the more romance I read the more I see only 2 pov, which if I separate the sisters I could probably do, but the thought of doing that makes my head hurt...it would probably be easier to just start over and I can't start over, I'm 50,000 words in and at the end, I have massive edits to do but I can stomach that.

Undercover
11-08-2019, 04:15 AM
I can think of a couple YA novels too that had 4 or more POVs. One of Us is Lying is a really popular one.

Not sure about adult romance though.

LJD
11-08-2019, 05:40 AM
So are you telling two different romances in this book, one for each sister? They both have happy endings? And similar page time?

This is unusual for romance. The focus is typically on one couple (or 3+ people for a menage relationship). Occasionally there will be a secondary romance, but one main romance is standard.

I'm a bit worried your book might be playing with genre expectations, which could be problematic for you.

How important is the sisters' relationship with each other to the story?

btw, dnf = did not finish

Sonya Heaney
11-08-2019, 05:53 AM
People get caught up on this question, but the number of POVs has zero importance. The more important question is whether you have found the best way of telling your story.

This is the romance/women's fiction forum. POV matters because genre conventions have an effect on POV. Romance is a genre where the points of view are almost always the hero's and heroine's (or multiple heroes and/or heroines). The exception is in suspense-type stories, where sometimes the villain gets a voice.

Self-pubbed or not, if a person publishes in any genre most readers come in with an idea of what to expect.

Women's fiction is another matter. If the main focus on the sisters, that sounds absolutely fine to me. :)

screenscope
11-08-2019, 06:42 AM
This is the romance/women's fiction forum. POV matters because genre conventions have an effect on POV. Romance is a genre where the points of view are almost always the hero's and heroine's (or multiple heroes and/or heroines). The exception is in suspense-type stories, where sometimes the villain gets a voice.

Self-pubbed or not, if a person publishes in any genre most readers come in with an idea of what to expect.

Women's fiction is another matter. If the main focus on the sisters, that sounds absolutely fine to me. :)

Fair enough, Sonya. My comments were both general and based on a discussion with my wife, who reads a lot of women's & romantic fiction. Bottom line is that if done well in any genre, readers won't notice. But if multiple POVs in a particular genre get agents and publishers offside, it's certainly an issue.

SnugglePuggle
11-08-2019, 07:47 AM
To me, it sounds fine. I personally go for 2, the main couple, with an occasional side character added in for context on the plot. Although, I haven't read many that had a lot of POVs, but I have been slacking in my reading the past couple years, haha. If you do it well, I don't see any harm in going that many.

KBooks
11-08-2019, 07:41 PM
Generally in romance you find 2 POVs (the hero and heroine) or one POV. I'm trying to think of a romance that focused on two couples in the same book and the only author I can think of is JR Ward, who writes paranormal romance. She had two new couples in "The Shadows" and also in the third book of her Legacy series. She has many POVs in her books and all the Legacy series have two main couples in them, although it's only the two examples above where it's actually fresh couples with a HEA. Other times she'll just revisit an old couple and spend time with them, giving them a new conflict. Anyway, much more common in romance to find 2-pov or 1-pov.


And I agree the pov shouldn't matter but the more romance I read the more I see only 2 pov, which if I separate the sisters I could probably do, but the thought of doing that makes my head hurt...it would probably be easier to just start over and I can't start over, I'm 50,000 words in and at the end, I have massive edits to do but I can stomach that.

Do both of the sisters get a HEA over the course of this book? It's extremely common to see series where the secondary characters in the first book are set up to be the main romantic couple in the second. I wonder if that would be one idea that wouldn't require too many rewrites.

Or women's fiction can certainly have romantic story arcs.