Sunday, October 21, 2012

**This is later than late this week, but I was hanging with family, so please don't hold it against me.  :) **

The Sunday Symposium is a weekly feature in which I'll be discussing various bookish topics and asking for your commentary, as well.  This week's topic is all about perspective:  third-person, first-person, multiple points-of-view, etc.

If, like me, you read a ton, you've probably read from just about every perspective thinkable.  If I'm being frank, I can admit that my favorite perspective to read from is first-person, simply because it's the easiest for me to place myself as the main character and become one with the story.  That's not to say I don't enjoy other points-of-view.  There's just something about becoming the character, living what they're going through as you read the story.  Nothing compares in my book, though third-person omniscient is definitely a close second.

I've read several titles lately that employed multiple perspectives in a third-person omniscient format:  Libba Bray's The Diviners, Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys, and Ilsa J. Bick's Shadows.  Wow.  That's seriously almost equal to knowing everything first-hand as the narrator.  But I've also read novels that utilize the multiple POV with less than stellar results, mostly because they incorporate too many varying perspectives. 

But exactly how many IS too many?  Well, for me, if the added narrative doesn't actually add to the story, meaning I didn't enjoy reading that perspective and it didn't tell me anything I didn't already know or wouldn't have figured out on my own, I could easily do without it.  For instance, I fully intend to read Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel, but from what I've heard, there are even more viewpoints than in the first novel, and despite my affinity for zombies, I still had a little trouble with all of the POVs in that first novel.

So, my question to you, dear readers, is what perspective do you enjoy the most:  first-person, third-person, dual/switching POVs (like in Shiver or Pushing the Limits where they switch back and forth between narrators for each chapter), or multiple points-of-view?


  1. I love first person but I prefer the multiple pov unless there is really only one main character... like Dust and Decay, its really only about Benny so only 1 is needed.. but in stories like Wolves of Mercy Falls there are multiple things going.. if we only have it from one pov we could miss so much. so I like first person and preferably from all the main characters pov.

  2. I'm definitely a fan of first person with multiple points of views. But only when it's necessary, or not so much necessary but an added bonus. Like in Pushing the Limits. If we didn't have Noah and Echo's POV it wouldn't have been nearly as good of a book. Well it would have been, but it would have been different.


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