First Chapter POV

Hello, all!

Sorry for the long absences. Besides being insanely busy, I realized that I was putting way too much pressure on myself about this blog.

I started the Science of Injury series here last month and, while I enjoy writing them, they take about two hours each to complete, and I just have little time for that right now. Or, I get intimidated by the length of time required.

So, while I do plan to continue that series over the next few months, I’m not going to allow myself to be stressed over my blog. I love it dearly, but this is an outlet for me, and there are too many stressors in life to add one more to the mix.

From here on, at least for a while and not including my Science of Injury posts, my entries will be much shorter.

Today’s quandary: changes in point of view (POV) from first chapter to second.

I’m currently in the process of rewriting my first book (again!) and my first chapter came to me in a different voice than the rest of them.

Now the first chapter is being told from a completely different POV than my MC, but she picks it up from chapter two through the end of the book. It is still third person omniscient, but the voice is someone else’s until the set-up of chapter one is complete.

I’ve seen this successfully managed by other writers.


Rachel Gibson’s book Not Another Bad Date begins with the death of a character, and the first chapter is from her viewpoint in Heaven, which is actually a department store. It’s an interesting take, I’ll grant you. We see her POV a couple other times in the book, but otherwise it stays with the MCs. And it’s seamless. Again, it sets up the rest of the story from an interesting angle.

George R.R. Martin switches POV pretty much every chapter in his Game of Thrones series, though mine is middle grade, so I don’t want to confuse my young readers. Although young readers, I find, are often more intuitive than older readers.

Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles switches POV many times, especially between chapters. It doesn’t bother me at all, but I know it can be distracting for others.

J.K. Rowling’s first chapter in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, as well as Goblet of Fire and Half Blood Prince. It sets up the background so the reader knows a bit more than the MC does, which is as it should be, I think.

Those are just a few examples. Does anybody else have examples of changes in POV? What do you think of POV changes, especially if it’s only the first chapter? Do you have any preferences?

Happy writing!


13 thoughts on “First Chapter POV

  1. I blogged about the POV patterns of my first novel, in my post, “I Can Hear the Ocean Roar” ( Be sure to click on the table to enlarge it for detail.

    The sequel to the first book will be about one of that book’s secondary characters, who will be one of two POV characters. I may play around with the tense and person in the first and last chapters, to emphasize the new main character’s change in importance, because the first book’s primary characters will also appear throughout, but this time in secondary roles. (Does that make any sense?) πŸ™‚

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who likes to experiment with POV. I really think it’ll be great for the book.

      And I loved that table you put together! I love a good table for analyzing my work.

  2. I’ve played with the idea in various projects. I have one novel where I did that and it’s like my favorite opening I’ve ever written. I think that if the only POV switch is from the opening to the rest of the book, it works pretty well. It’s when the POV bounces around allllll theeeee tiiiiiiime that it gets confusing. I read a series once that started out with one POV, but increased POV characters with every book–and it’s like thirteen books long! By the time I got to book 10, I gave up, because it was seriously making me motion sick to bounce around between eight or nine characters.

  3. I don’t have any examples off the top of my head, but it sounds like a great idea. And as far as your blog, by all means, don’t let it stress you! I think it’s a good idea to switch gears until your available free time allows you to work without stress. πŸ™‚ It’s good to see you back. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks! I’ve missed the blog-o-sphere, but it just wasn’t worth my sanity. I feel much better about it now.

      I think my first chapter is pretty darn good, I just don’t know how it’ll be received with agents and such. Who knows.

      • I feel leery about sending to an agent for all the new “rules” I keep reading about. But I think you just have to have faith in your work and put it out there. I keep trying to boost my confidence by reading articles about people who did really well after a series of rejections. You’ve got to try to see how for you can go. πŸ™‚ Best wishes! ❀

  4. I think if it’s done clearly it can work nicely. I am still having trouble with my voice so you probably don’t want my advice! But I think if it’s the first chapter, and its detached from your MC it would make sense. And blogs aren’t supposed to be stressful, so don’t worry about taking breaks!

  5. I ‘m not a big fan of the POV changing, but if the Prologue can give a different view that can give the novel some extra depth, but when it switches back and forth throughout the whole novel, especially with alternating characters, it can get a bit annoying as it jars me back to reality -the last place i want to be while reading.

    • Sorry for the delay in my reply.

      This would be the only change of POV. There’s just so much going on in the background that the MC can’t absorb it all (due to many factors), and we need a little information about the reason for the inciting event in the first book. Afterwards, it’ll be from her POV only.

      I’m not a fan of alternating POVs back and forth. It’s confusing and distracting.

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