I am editing my middle school fantasy and am having point of view issues. I have told the story from the main character's point of view, but really, there are four kids and at one point they get separated... Is it better to stick to one person or shift it around more, maybe with chapter headings alternating the four main characters (Rick Riordan style), or is there another solution? I would appreciate any advice. Some of the novel flows so well and some reads as stilted as it is.
If you're writing in the first person from the main character's POV, then it's risky to switch to other POVs. It can be done (and done well) by really experienced pros, but it can also flop miserably in less practiced hands. If you're writing in third person, then you should be able to mix up the POVs--just stick to one per chapter and don't jump back and forth in the middle of a scene, and you'll be okay. But if you want to stick to just the one POV except when your characters get separated, and then you go into four POVs, and then back to the main one later...that's likely to feel disjointed and confusing. If you're doing multiple POVs, then try to carry it throughout the book--after all, those other characters must have lives, too, even if they're not the main one.
Thanks, that's pretty much what I've been thinking. I'm writing in third person. I'm inclined to have the other character's point of views more often. I appreciate the reply.
I'd go with third person. It's probably the easiest way to switch between different characters' stories without confusing the audience. I read a fantastic novel recently where the only weakness that I really noticed in the book was that it was hard to tell when POV switched between two characters, as there was no change of font or chapter heading to let the audience know who was talking. Multiple first person POVs can be done well (George Martin did a decent job in A Song of Ice and Fire), but they take some practice and might be a bit complex for middle schoolers to follow.