Just Write

How many povs can be in one scene?

The question often pops up: How many points of view can be in one scene?

The easy answer: One point of view per paragraph.

The expanded answer: “If you have more than one character within a scene whose points of view are relevant, then you’ll need to use the omniscient pov.” Jordan E. Rosenfeld, Make A Scene.

The omniscient narrator is all-knowing, able to move in and out of the thoughts of all the characters and to comment on events before and after the scene has happened.

Jordan, an authority on writing,  expands upon the idea of changing pov within a scene: “. . . you must make omniscient clear right away from the first paragraph in the scene. If the readers believes that he has only been able to see inside character A’s head, and then you suddenly leap into character B’s head, the reader will feel confused and possibly irritated.”

For a reminder about what a scene is, Jordan says, “A scene should largely take place in one location.”

When you use omniscient pov and hop from one character’s head into another character’s head, you are able to describe the scene (action, thoughts, feelings) from different characters points of view. This can be tricky. Just make sure the reader knows which character is observing the scene.

First: Just Write. Then, during the revising/editing stage, check that points of view are clear and consistent.

Make A Scene.RosenfeldFor more details about scene, points of view and examples, check out Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time, by Jordan E. Rosenfeld.

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