WE'VE ALL READ A BOOK WITH FREQUENTLY CHANGING VIEWPOINTS.
And, at some point, we've all been boggled. Why is there a character's name at the top of the page? Where is the chapter number? Wasn't she in the woods on the last page?
We've all been utterly confused by this evil trait used by authors.* So, are multiple POVs lovable little unicorns, or malevolent tools that could be the potential spark of a zombie apocalypse?
Malevolent tools seems just about right. And here's why.
Why multiple POVs are an absolute nightmare:
That's almost exactly how I read books with multiple POVs. I basically just don't. I end up getting super bored of one of the characters' POV and just skip over them to read the scenes I'm hooked on to. Then, when I'm done and dusted with the book, I don't understand a thing that happened. Yes, yes. Maybe, just maybe, I should read all the POVs so the book doesn't end up being a two star review. But I just can't help it.
One POV: Ideal
Two POVs: Uh... I can deal with it.
Three POVs: I feel my brain going foggy.
Four POVs or more: NOPE, NOPE.
Agreed, multiple POVs can also be absolutely magical. Want to know the COMPLETE story? The story from the villain's point of view? Tiny missing details not included in the main character's POV? An obstacle only the reader and character 2 know about, heading for character 1?
Multiple POVs can be perfect for telling these stories.
But sometimes, one character just has more fun than the other. Well, in my case, anyway.
*Just me, then? Oh...
Your turn. What do you think about multiple POVs? Are they lovable little unicorns, or malevolent little tools?