I wrote the book through the eyes of one of the characters, then added a few chapters from the other character's perspective. But now, I either need to add more chapters to the second character or figure out how to incorporate his thoughts into her chapters. I'm stuck, the 1st option being not overly realistic, but have no idea how to incorporate more of his thoughts into her chapters.

Do you have any ideas, resources or tips on how I can do this? Are there any rules for writing characters having equal page time????

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    What exactly do you want achieve here? I think there is no reason to "balance" POVs. There aren't any rules for this, only pros and cons, you see? I see you really want add his point of view and opinions, but why you want do this? It all depends on your objective. If you want edit your question telling what is your objective, I could answer how you could approach this. Your question is interesting.
    – Hanilucas
    Dec 5, 2017 at 11:57
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    And, if you feel lost about your objective, I suggest that you search more about this subject. Having different characters with their own point of views has different effects than having only one point of view and is good to know the implications of that. You need to know what you're doing.
    – Hanilucas
    Dec 5, 2017 at 12:02
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    WHY was it necessary to add new chapters from the other character's perspective? Is there a story reason, or you just thought it would be interesting to show it? Note that with two POV characters, they do NOT have to be 'balanced' out, you can have four chapters in one POV, and then just one for another character when that is appropriate. Your issue will be that every POV character should be solving some kind of problem (not nec. the same problem for all) and should succeed or fail at it. Also, chapters from one POV can be short, just a few pages. But please answer WHY was it necessary.
    – Amadeus
    Dec 5, 2017 at 20:38

3 Answers 3


I am fine with two POVs and that's my current project. It alternates between chapters, and I too am trying to balance them. I feel your pain - because one of my characters is more interesting than the other.

My advice (to myself and) to you is to spend more time with your other character. And I pair this advice with : heavily edit out anything that doesn't need to be there. From the whole piece. Make it sharp.

So, get to know the secondary character better, just start working with that character in your mind or whatever, maybe hold an interview with that character on paper, ask them endless questions, get into their head, until you know their motivations and personality as well as you know the MCs.

And then keep editing to make it tighter.

I think the end product will be more satisfying to you.


Also, I have read one book where a few chapters near the end were thrown in from a 3rd POV. Yes, it was jarring. So you can do a few chapters like that, but it will probably be jarring. We sign up for a certain experience at the beginning of a book - You are giving us a contract, as Mark Baker sometimes says. Once I've signed the contract, I don't want the terms to change.


It could be done with a third person "omniscient" narrator, but if the narration follows one character then the other it would take skill to introduce the thoughts of one into a section relating to the other without the reader thinking "Hang on. How does he/she know this?". If you're writing in the first person and switching between viewpoints, I can't see a way of doing this without keeping any unspoken thoughts separate to each character (unless telepathy is a theme).

There's no specific rule about balance. Usually a book has one protagonist, but there's no reason there couldn't be two - including two who never meet (this is actually easier). If you spend significantly more time with one over the other, it's probably simplest to think of the book as having as a single protagonist and not introduce other characters' thoughts outside their own sections.

More than two? There's a risk of confusing the reader. Irvine Welsh pulled it off in "Trainspotting", but that was a mixture of first person and third person omniscient (a character in itself), and switched viewpoints frequently. And even there, Mark Renton emerged as a "main" protagonist.


If you have to go back through your story and write his thoughts into her chapters then you will completely alter the plot. This could be tricky. Perhaps consider rewriting earlier chapters from his perspective. This way you're not altering anything and if you do it well with a tone compatible with the novel it could turn out as an interesting twist.

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