Staying with the POV subject of late, today’s question comes from Jackie L.:
Do you think it's best to limit most stories to two POV characters?
Yes, MOST times it is best to keep stories to two POVs. This makes for an easier read and allows the reader time to become invested in the two main characters and their journey--for instance, in a romance, staying to two POVs keeps the reader emotionally invested in the HEA for these two characters.
Each time a POV is changed to a new character, the reader has to adapt to the new rhythm, and if done too much, this can pull the reader out of the story, or worse, keep them on the top surface making it easy for them to lay the book down to go do something else if needed. By keeping to two strong, deeper POVs, the reader has a better opportunity to be pulled into the story where they don't want to put the book down.
Now, having said all that, I also believe that there are times when a third POV can be introduced aptly--such as a villain in an intrigue story, or a ghost that is leading the main characters towards the solving of a mystery. But if POV is changed occasionally simply to find out what the brother, annoying neighbour or best friend are thinking or doing, then my first suggestion is always to see if you can relay that information to the main character through dialogue or another event so as to keep to two POVs and the reader in the moment.
Thank you again to Jackie L. for her question today. She will receive a thank you envelope with a pen, bookmark and other fun stuff from myself and authors I have worked with.
For a chance to receive a fun stuffed envelope, simply send me a question about writing, editing or the publishing process. No question is too little, too silly or should be too embarrassing to ask--knowledge is the key that opens many doors. So, go ahead and ask me: QandA@stacydholmes.com.
And if I use your question on my blog, I will send you a small thank you envelope, too.