Hmm, yes, good point. Epic-ness is the thing to keep in mind. I didn't realize 'The Stand' had so many major POVs. Blasphemy to say, but I've still yet to read it.MorrowWriter said:I suppose it depends on whether you're aiming for an epic feel, or something more intimate. Epic post-apocalyptic novels tend to go with multiple protags. The Stand is the example that comes to mind. There are something like six major POV characters, then 20 or so other POV characters. The Road is at the other end of the scale. Haven't read it in ages, but I think it's mainly told from one character's perspective.
Yes, I always find myself turning pages faster when I know more than the POV character - adds to the suspense. Thanks.jvin248 said:.
Sometimes it's useful to have a scene inside the head of the villain or another character, to let the reader in on something devious that the main character will only uncover later.
Current trilogy I'm working on (in another genre) I have four main characters but as needed a few secondary characters and some of the villains get a bit of time on the stage. You can show the main character a dead body, but sometimes it's more powerful and insightful to see just how frighteningly wicked the villain is to his victims.
A lot of great food for thought here. World War Z was a fun read. I liked all of the different POVs, and I can't believe I hadn't thought of that already. I guess it's been too long since I'd read it. You're right about the potential for singular POV becoming boring. Getting more enamored with the idea of multiple POVs just to keep that narrative tension going. Thank you for replying.NikOK said:Yeah, I think either way can be done well. A post apocalypse setting does leave a lot of down time for your characters, and having multiple pov can help you skip sections and jump back to a character when the exciting things are happening. Realistically, if you followed someone 24/7 and all they had to do in a day was survive, it would be the most boring thing ever. Probably just watching a lot of them purifying water and sleeping. But a single pov can also have fun side characters, arching villains to dodge, apocalypse dogs to befriend, or whatever else is going on. Multiple pov is a good way to keep focused on the interesting things, but single can give you a much more intimate view of this character living in this crazy world. If it was me, I'd do single if I wanted to focus on what the apocalypse world does to a person, and multiple if I want to focus on what the people are doing in an apocalypse world.
Also, the first thing I thought of when you said multiple post-apoc was the book of World War Z (which was as different from the movie as it possibly could have been). It's a good example of an extreme multiple pov where a lot of the characters just tell their story and then never come back in the book, then you the reader have to piece the whole picture together from these multiple first hand accounts. Pretty good book, and obviously very successful. Probably didn't hurt the popularity that it was done by Mel Brooks' son, but I remember enjoying it.
Thanks, Decon, yeah I'm definitely leaning more toward multiple POVs the more I hear yours and other perspectives. I'm thinking for the scale of the story I'm trying to tell it makes the most sense.Decon said:It would be difficult to write a pre and post apolyptic story without multiple points of view if events are worldwide, or nationwide, as a single point of view can't see or know everything that's happening, unless the story happens in a bubble around your MC.
I have around 6 POVs so far in a trilogy I'm writing in the same pre and post genre as you and expect there to be more. I have my MC in 1st person and the rest in third person.
The story you have in mind should guide you.
There's a film similar to this example. There could be a POV from someone at an observatory seeing a possible disaster unfolding on their instruments. Then there could be a scene at the Whitehouse discussing the impending disaster. Then it could move to your MC and so on.
Sounds great! Hope everything goes great for you and your post apocalypse story.Corvid said:A lot of great insights here, thank you all.
I'm pretty convinced at this point that multiple POVs is the way to go. I've been moving in that direction with my WIP for the past few days, and I think I'll continue with that approach.
Hey thanks! I'm having fun with the genre, though maybe given the subject matter maybe "fun" isn't the right way to put it. lol I know my characters aren't having much fun anyway. Just hope nobody tells them they're trapped inside some psychopathic author's book, they're a lot more proficient with weaponry than I am.NikOK said:Sounds great! Hope everything goes great for you and your post apocalypse story.
If you do go the route of multiple POVs from around the world, try to avoid doing what Brooks does and making international characters come off as stereotyped cliches. I liked World War Z just fine, it was fun, and I get that it was meant to be semi-comedic, but it was also pretty clear that Brooks had spent very little time in his life outside of America or even talking to non-Americans.Corvid said:A lot of great food for thought here. World War Z was a fun read. I liked all of the different POVs, and I can't believe I hadn't thought of that already. I guess it's been too long since I'd read it. You're right about the potential for singular POV becoming boring. Getting more enamored with the idea of multiple POVs just to keep that narrative tension going. Thank you for replying.
Ha, well... this is shaping up to be a fairly ridiculous (though told straight, not comedic) Michael Bay-meets-2012-meets-Independence Day type of saga. Meaning, the typical Amero-centric global apocalypse we see from Hollywood. I grew up in Canada, completely immersed in American pop culture. I don't think I could write a non-Canadian, non-American cast of characters very well, so I shy away from that. Yeah, it's probably silly to have all Americans, except for one, as my POVs in a global apocalypse story, but I can write POVs from that perspective fairly easily, and I'd imagine the U.S. would predominantly be the market for my series, so makes sense from that standpoint too.ShaneCarrow said:If you do go the route of multiple POVs from around the world, try to avoid doing what Brooks does and making international characters come off as stereotyped cliches. I liked World War Z just fine, it was fun, and I get that it was meant to be semi-comedic, but it was also pretty clear that Brooks had spent very little time in his life outside of America or even talking to non-Americans.