Thoughts on : Multiple Narrators In Books

Hi bookish friends, how are you? Today I’m finally coming back with a book discussion! It’s been a while, but with holidays and some time travelling, I had a hard time writing these kind of articles. I’m back, however, with hopefully more regular discussions! I hope you’ll enjoy it!Β πŸ™‚

A book. It’s a story that fits in between pages, in a bag, on your shelves, in your bed. It’s a voice, a narrator, that tells us about their life, their struggles, the fantastic world he or she lives in. What’s fair, what’s unfair about it…It’s an adventure we get to follow through his or her eyes. In a matter of pages, we’re thrown into a whole new life, the narrator’s life.

Sometimes, however, we’re not seeing the world through only one person’s eyes. There are books, where chapters are split into different point of views. Whether it’s two best friends, two completely different characters whose lives will collide at some point, or even more than two people we don’t know anything about, and will struggle to find who’s talking, what’s happening, where we are. Split between those different point of views, understanding different personnalities at the same time, following the same story through different eyes… What do you think about multiple narrators in books?

β€œMultiple points of view definitely brings something more to a story.”

Needless to say, like anything else in this world, this writing technique has its perks and its drawbacks. Because I like to stay positive, I have to say first and foremost, that multiple points of view on a story, definitely brings something more. We get to see another side of what happens, and probably get a better picture of the whole story. This perfectly works in The 5th Wave. Where, at first, we don’t know what’s happening, and get confused by the flashbacks, the narration, the points of view, we definitely understand after some pages, that we get, thanks to this technique, a 360Β° view of this damaged world.

Trying to write from two (or more) different perspectives isn’t that easy, and one should know that it’s not always a winner situation. I found myself thinking, while reading some of those books, What is the point about this whole thing? Is it just for the sake of having two narrators instead of one? I really think that any story told from a dual point of view should bring something more. Whether it’s different characters, to give us a chance to get attached to at least one of them, or two show two different lives from one side of the world to another… those are only examples, but perfect situations in which I could see different point of view being used.

β€œWe can be completely thrown off by the narration, at times.”

It’s not only in narration, that we can see the difference. It can be in letters such as in Because You’ll Never Meet Me, or in journal entries like in Vanishing Girls. This last example allows me to jump to my last idea.Β Multiple narrators can completely throw us off, sometimes. And I think this can be good. Take us out of the usual reading journey. By allowing us into different characters’ mind, by making us wonder what is happening. By letting us know two sides of a story, or making us grasp a whole world completely.

LET’S CHAT!Β 

What do you think about these kind of books? Do you enjoy it, or not? Why, or why not?

In which situations do you think it’s better to write from a dual (or more) perspective?

What is your favorite book told from multiple perspectives? Let me know everything in comments! πŸ™‚

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

18 thoughts on “Thoughts on : Multiple Narrators In Books

  1. I love this topic! Honestly I am a huge fan of multiple POV novels. When they are done well they really can add a uniqueness to a novel. And many times authors can user is technique in such mind blowing ways that reveals so much about the plot and can really show an author’s skills in writing and plotting.
    Great discussion! πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely right! Your viewpoints say it all. I’m probably among the minority who’s a fan of multiple narrators. It’s exciting to be inside different minds of different characters. I especially like GRRM’s Song of Ice and Fire.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Multiple narrators can be crucial to even make the book work, like A Song of Ice and Fire, that series would be nothing without all the different viewpoints and perspectives. Books where you need to be in several places at once for the story to work needs either an omniscient narrator or multiple narrators.

    I’m against multiple narrators written in first person though. I believe the last Divergent book does that? Jesus, why, that makes it so confusing and you risk the reader forgetting who’s narrating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, that’s a really good point! You’re right, it can get so confusing and bothering at times, when it’s written in the first person for every character. It always takes me some time to switch POVs, and with this, it’s even harder!
      Thank you so much for your opinion Anette! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. In most romances, I like having dual POVs. It helps me get a grasp on what both characters are feeling and thinking. I think it better develops the characters equally. Sometimes when only one person is narrating, the love interest seems really one dimensional or is an enigma.

    But at the same time, sometimes I enjoy being in the dark. Sweet Filthy Boy is a romance where I think the authors did a great job by only giving one POV instead of their usual dual POV. Made the lead more mysterious which meant there were some great twists.

    In general, I enjoy books with multiple POV. I like lots of things to happen in my books and I find that multiple narrators keeps things moving. And if I don’t connect with one character, there is usually at least one POV I really connect with. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants is one where that is that case or The Mortal Instruments Series.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so right about romances: I really enjoy getting to know what both characters are thinking and feeling in this kind of story, it makes the relationship more powerful, maybe, or at least it doesn’t seem so mysterious, only told from one side, as you said! πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much for your comment, I loved reading your thoughts about this! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this topic! What a great discussion.
    I think it depends on how the author has formatted it. I don’t like it when the jumps between perspectives aren’t somehow marked clearly or happen too often. When done well, I do like hearing different characters’ voices. I think it can add more layers and interest to the story. Barbara Kingsolver does it beautifully in a lot of her books.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is actually a trend I am finding myself tiring of. I feel that most of the books I am reading as of late have multiple POV’s. It doesn’t work a lot of the time for me. I get too interested in one story and dread the other. Characters sometimes are too similar and it’s hard to differentiate which person’s perspective you’re reading from. When it’s done well I enjoy it but I’ve seen so many sloppy examples of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand what you mean. I feel like it’s becoming too much of a trend, these days, too, and sometimes it’s just bothering. I don’t relate with both characters, or I’m just not invested as much in one, or the other, and so get bored, just like you said, too!
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts ! πŸ™‚

      Like

  7. Great discussion! πŸ˜€
    For me, it depends on the book. Multiple narrators can be extremely hard to pull off, and if it doesn’t suit the story or the book, than it becomes a wasted effort that goes on to be useless and annoying. And then there are also multiple narrator novels where I simply can’t stand one of the narrators. πŸ˜‰ But generally, I’d say I like them as long as they’re done properly; they can add a lot of depth to different characters! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

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