The third person single PoV in present tense is probably the most prevalent one; but I want to talk about all that I like/dislike about other PoVs:
First person multiple PoVs – A couple of favorites (in the past year) I can think over the top of my head is Mummy’s Little Angel and Shepherd and the Professor. I have found that this works great in building up the “mystery” in the book, like a lot of puzzle pieces coming together. More often than not, one character gets more “page-time” and is obviously the MC but with the multiple first person accounts, you end up knowing some of the secondary characters more intimately and I think it is a really nice way to prevent characters important to the plot from coming across as someone with a one-dimensional personality.
Second person PoV – I guess this must be the least used PoV? I must have read just two books this year with a second person PoV – Hesitation Wounds and In the Context of Love. It took some time for me to get used to it but after a few pages I got comfortable reading it. By the time I finished the books, it felt like using this type of PoV was the most natural decision ever. In both the books, the female MC is “addressing” her story to that one person whose presence – and later absence – ends up becoming a pivotal factor in defining all the decisions they take later in their lives. So it works like some sort of a lament/plea.
First person single PoV (male voice) in YA – I feel it isn’t used that often. Most of the YA books I pick up are usually from the perspective of a teenage girl. I feel like we can really use more male voices. I would like to read more books like Phantom Limbs (which talks about a teenage boy grieving the loss of his brother and also being separated from his first love) and The Boy Who Killed Grant Parker (which talks about a boy trying not to stick out in a new school and a new town).
Dual PoV – I have seen it being very effective in historical romances because the stories are set in times where letters were used for communication and ships for travelling across countries. So in romances where the two characters are separated by distance and time (and literally time in time-travel fiction) a dual narration works wonders in being invested in the love story and rooting for the couple to get together in the end. If the novel is in third person dual PoV, I have seen that the dual narration stops once the couple meets – and that works great when you have run out of patience :p . But, what about first-person dual PoV? Honestly, I am not a huge fan of it. Because, the books that I have picked up with this sort of narration have usually been contemporary romances with insta-love, Mary Sue MCs and just a whole lot of I-hate-you-but-I-love-you-but-I-can’t-be-with-you-because-there-are-still-a-hundred-pages-remaining. Moreover, imagine revisiting the same scene (or the ramifications of a previous scene) twice with such MCs. Twice the whining and twice the self-pitying.
Alternating past/present PoV– Two words – Gone Girl. Five more – The Girl on the Train. But what about others? There have been a slew of psychological thrillers using this style of narrating, and I feel like it has been a bit of overkill. It is used even when it doesn’t bring anything extra to the table. I have seen it being used in simple murder mysteries where a linear narration could have worked just as well. This used to be one of my favorite style of narration and it still is; but nowadays I tend to look at the synopsis of such books with a bit of suspicion trying to gauge whether a straightforward whodunit is being marketed as something else :p .
So, which PoV do you like? Is there any particular genre that you feel could use a PoV type more often? Do let me know in the comments!