I am writing a story. I actually just started and I am still writing the first chapter. Is it okay to write from a minor character's point of view first?

Simply put, the main character is unconscious and her friend is with her in the hospital. But since I decided to make the main character unconscious till the end of the first chapter, can I write from her friend's point of view?

Then secondly, is it even okay to write from a minor character's point of view?

  • Bram Stoker does this throughout Dracula, so why not?
    – Chenmunka
    Jan 10, 2023 at 16:41
  • Considering the two questions you've asked so far, I'd like to point you to this very generalised question that I think you might find helpful: Writing a novel, can I do -this or that-?
    – Divizna
    Jan 10, 2023 at 17:04

4 Answers 4


Sure, you can write a scene or chapter from a minor character's point of view.

If you're doing the third person limited form, this is actually quite a common thing to do. One conspicuous instance that stayed with me is one of the volumes of the Witcher saga (not sure which, only that it's not the first) that starts with a scene written from the point of view of a character never seen before... who gets killed at the end of that scene by a random fighter in the war. The whole saga does this, showing little snippets of what's happening all around the continent, sprinkled among the scenes with the heroes.

But many books that don't really skip all around a whole war and keep the scope more limited change the POV among a group of characters habitually, and not all of them are necessarily from the main cast.

If you're writing a first person narration, this is less common, but no reason why you couldn't pull that off too. There's been a question here about changing first person narrators, you can see it for some tips about that... Wait, no, now I'm finding two.

How to execute a change of the POV in a first person novel POV?

First person pov with more than one main chars


You can have a number of point-of-view characters in your story. The main character does not have to be the only one.

The main character is the character through whom we experience the story, first hand, so giving them POV is a good choice, often necessary.

Then there's the protagonist. They are the mover of the plot and the one that fights the antagonist.

The main character and the protagonist can be the same, but they don't have to be. (The terms "main character", "protagonist" and "hero" are often used to describe a character that is both a main character and a protagonist.)

Examples of where the main character and the protagonist aren't the same are "Atonement" and "To Kill a Mockingbird".

The antagonist may, or may not have POV. If you write crime or mystery it could be directly problematic, if you write suspense, it could give your story an extra edge (e.g. knowing the villain placed the bomb in the basement gives an extra spark to the living room conversation...)

Here's a rule of thumb I use (and disobey when I feel the need to):

Give the character that has the most to lose in the scene POV.

If you have a scene where some insignificant side character has the most to lose, consider cutting the scene, or, if it has something vital to say, compact it into a narrative transport (i.e. a paragraph or two just telling before you move the story to the next section/scene of active "showing").

Figuring out who's insignificant or not could be as simple as how broad or narrow your story should be or as complex as cutting to the core of stuff like message and theme... It is, after all, the same as figuring out what scenes go into your story, so you may have to write the first draft before you know for sure...


Happened at least Four Times in the Harry Potter Books. (First Chapter from the First Book is told Half through Uncle Vernon's pov, then continued from Dumbledoor's POV. Book 4 opens with the POV of the Caretaker of the estate of Voldermort's muggle father, who was accused of the mysterious murder of the family, but was not convicted on the charges. Book 6 does it twice, with a Scene from the point of view of Narcissa Malfoy who is meeting with Snape in his summer home and then from the POV of an unnamed British Prime Minister, who is meeting in his office with the Minister of Magic to discuss the situation of Voldemort's return.)


It's actually very common to write a novel in third person limited perspective where the viewpoint character changes. Usually (but not necessarily) those viewpoint changes happen when a new chapter begins. The viewpoint-character can also switch to a minor character or even a character who only exists during that chapter, if that character is the one with the most interesting view on the plot right now.

Also keep in mind that while third person limited is perhaps the most popular perspective for writing novels, it's not the only perspective. For example, there is also the "third person omniscient" perspective where the narrator tells the readers the thoughts of not one but all characters in the scene. Or the opposite, the "third person objective" narrator, who doesn't know the thoughts of any character and only describes what would be perceptible to an observer.

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