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I'm in the early stages of a story with a large number of characters, a complex backstory and a long history. This is mostly because I crafted the world myself for months before deciding to write it down. The issue is, I don't know whose point of view my story should be written from.

The primary conflict comes from an immortal witch who feels that humans are stupid little punks who need to be eliminated from the planet. She tried to wipe them out several hundred years ago in a huge, world-shattering war between a bunch of immortals, each of whom had their own reason to beat the crud out of everyone else. The witch lost and went into hiding, letting everyone else forget she ever existed. Meanwhile, she has been using magic to make monsters to infiltrate society and eventually blow it up from the inside out.

I have three heroes as major candidates for my POV character:

  1. The witch's reformed son who works as a diplomat in the main country,
  2. A girl bored with her life that faked her way into the army, despite having no credentials, and
  3. A nobleman's son working to bring a forgotten race of people back into civilization.

Each of these characters has pros and cons as the lead hero, which I am willing to explain further if need be, but I don't know what best to do. Can I have some help?

I've explained what I feel to be just what is needed to be helpful. There's a lot more I'm willing to explain if need be, but I feel it might be better for myself and other readers to hear the process of choosing a POV character. Thanks!

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Why not use all three? Write it in third person and alternate chapters from different POVs. I love reading books that do that.

You could have a main character that gets the most chapters or you could make all three of your choices equal in importance, as long as they each have interesting storylines.

You sound like you've fleshed out your outlining and fictional world pretty well. For books with larger casts I feel like it works really well to have several POVs, that way you get to know more of the characters and there are lots of different relationships (rather than everyone somehow interacting with the one MC to fit into the story).

Marissa Meyer does an excellent job in The Lunar Chronicles alternating POVs. For most of the first book it was mainly one character (just a few chapters of someone else's POV if something need explaining). In her second book, she introduced another main character and the two girls got equal chapters. There were other characters whose POV was shown as well. The third book had three MCs and the fourth book had four (the love interests of the main characters got a few chapters from their POV's as well) and we were even given several chapters from the antagonist's POV.

Do whatever you feel is right for your book. If that's alternating POVs and having several main characters, awesome. If you'd rather choose one and really focus on that, cool. I think your idea is solid and sounds very interesting, definitely something I'd be interested in reading.

I'd love to see the POV of all 3 characters you mentioned. They seem diverse enough that it could work, too.

  • Thanks for that advice. I may try that out. I've decided to write up 3 scenes, each from the POV of each character. I can see how that could help. – J. A. Feb 20 '16 at 3:10
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I considered writing a book based on a storyline I was working on in my head once... I never made it past actually writing the first paragraph, but it would have been a good book I assure you. :)

I would vote for #1 if I thought I would read it; the dynamics of the situation would offer potential internal conflict and an ever-present imminent danger, thereby promising to secure the attention of the reader. However, in this I make some assumptions about your intended storyline, e.g. supposedly "immortal" characters will be characterized by occasionally recurring visits into your storyline.

Just my humble unbiased opinion. I don't care for witches either.

  • Thanks for that. I don't think I really get your comment on "immortal" characters, but I'll take it. – J. A. Feb 20 '16 at 21:03
  • I'm sorry for not making myself clear; I was intending to mention the fact that since I don't know some of the particulars regarding your intended storyline, my opinion is based on some educated guesswork, such as the idea that she who caused the trouble in the first place, and the other immortals ("...huge, world-shattering war between a bunch of immortals...") will revisit the scene with some frequency, although it isn't stated whether this will be the case or if the monsters will be the primary (or possibly sole) cause of trouble throughout the tale. Does that make more sense? – Kai Maxfield Feb 20 '16 at 21:13
  • Ah, I see. Well, the idea is all the immortals just recently came to power and each one wants their claim on the world. The witch gets in the mess just because it's an opportunity to kill everyone. But yes, some of the other participants in the war (namely the victors) will be around when the witch makes her return. Thanks for the clarification. – J. A. Feb 20 '16 at 21:55

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