In any given fiction work of fiction, the story is told through someone's point of view. Whether or not this is through the eyes of a hero, a villain, or multiple characters, a point of view establishes what the author wants the reader to focus on. More often than not, the narrative is told through a single lens. This aims to keep the story consistent and make it more likely for the reader to sympathize with the protagonist. Examples of this include Harry Potter. However, other books, like A Song of Ice and Fire, are told through multiple points of view.

 

 

1. Increased Depth of the Overall Story

 

The main advantage of this method of telling a story is the depth of the story. When an author chooses multiple points of view, they are fleshing out not just the story of the protagonist, but are actively engaging in world-building. This means that there is more material to choose from when writing, and establishes either important background events or events that happened in a character's past. More three-dimensional characters are created, and as the story goes along, the reader may understand the motives of a character, and even sympathize with them. While it may be argued that multiple POV's can be too distracting from the protagonist or protagonists, other individuals in the cast of characters can have their turn in the limelight and flesh out a three-dimensional story.

 

2. Able to Develop Major and Minor Characters (Extremely Helpful if Writing a Series)

 

Going back to the example of A Song of Ice and Fire, an interesting effect that multiple POV's have is giving knowledge to the reader that a protagonist may have, creating suspense. Throughout the series, more villainous characters are given points of view, as well as minor characters that a first-time reader would not even bother thinking twice about. The first chapter of A Song of Ice and Fire is told through the eyes of a minor character who survives a massacre, tries to tell his story, and no one but the reader believes them. While other characters come to realize that he was indeed telling the truth about his ordeal, the reader knew about the sheer scale of the danger all along.

 

3. Can Create More Subplots

 

With multiple characters telling the story, the author is able to create more subplots, usually one per character or per character set AKA: A team of protagonists and a team of antagonists. In fact, for a multi-POV book, subplots are vitally important for keeping the story moving and keeping the reader interested. Without them or without an extremely strong plot, the story can become extremely thin when working with multiple character points of view.

 

The key takeaway from this guide is that multiple points of view create a story and a world that is much more compelling than a single, simple, linear plot, and the result will be a much more immersive plot, more fleshed out characters, and the chance for readers to really connect with the author's mind and intended message and experience a story with three dimensional, sympathetic, and compelling characters.