As I mentioned in my last post about POV characters, todays post is designed to help you decide if the character you're choosing for POV is the right one. (If you haven't read that post yet, you can find a link at the bottom of this page.)
Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when deciding if you should write a scene from a certain characters POV.
Is your character trying to hide something?
If you find yourself writing from this characters POV and are trying to write it so his secret won't come out (you want to keep the contents of the secret from the reader) then you should probably figure out a way to write the scene from another characters view point.
For instance: you purposefully avoid thoughts or conversation that would cause a normal person to think about their secret.
It can feel a little contrived when a character with a big secret, who has a lot of "page time" as POV character, never, not once, thinks about their secret.
The exception would possibly be a short scene where you purposefully show him having a vague thought about his secret with the intent of hooking your reader. (After all, how can a reader be intrigued by a secret if they don't know it exists?)
Example: He knew it was only a matter of time before they found out. He had to get the map before then or all was lost.
This will depend on what you want your reader to know and when.
But even in this case such a character should be used sparingly in the position of POV C.
Is your character real enough to keep your reader engaged?
Deep characters: with believable personalities, desires, strengths and weaknesses, are a must in all writing. However, the closer a reader is to a character the more your work on character development will be put to the test.
Example: A character who helps feed your Protagonist in a tavern is not going to be analyzed by your reader as much as the protagonist will.
A reader is right in the head of a POV character. So, if you only did a basic character outline on him/her it will show.
Of course you can always go back and create a more detailed character sheet. But that brings us to the third point...
Do you really need to write the scene from that characters POV?
You might not really need to switch POV characters.
It is true that POV characters need to be in every scene you write. This can make plotting more challenging if you limit yourself to one POV character.
For Instance: It would be hard to explain why your protagonist was telling your reader about a secret villains meeting when there is no way they could have been there.
In a case like that you'd have to switch POV characters if you decided you just had to have that scene.
But that won't be the case for every situation. In a lot of cases you'll be able to figure out how to write a scene where your reader can learn all the information you needed them to without having to change POV characters.
It'll probably take a little more effort and creativity but that will just bleed through into you novel. Making it a better work in the long run.
Deciding on a POV can be a challenge. Especially if you have multiple great characters to chose from. But remember, your POV Character is the one your reader will be closest to. So you really need to chose him/her wisely.
Do you have any advice on how to chose a POV character or POV?
As always I'd love to hear from you.