I admit I have never managed to write an entire novel from a single Point of View. I write with large casts of characters. Sometimes it is because my plot spans major events in my fantasy world, but not always. Even in a small-ish setting, such as a single city, I end up with a large cast of significant characters.
If I let myself go wild, I would have a dozen different PoVs all the time.
Restricting myself is always hard. I have to abandon characters I love and let them evolve only in the background. I could use omniscient, of course, but I feel that requires a certain level of skill I've yet to attain. I prefer to stick with third limited, with one character for every scene.
How to choose, though?
I feel every PoV should count. It should be so essential to the story that if you remove it, the novel no longer makes sense. How do you determine that? What a PoV brings is not limited to its influence on the plot. When considering PoVs, I ask myself a few questions, and here they are for your enjoyment.
- Could every information a PoV bring be told in another scene?
- What is the purpose of this knowledge? Is it only to raise tension, to let the reader know something the character doesn't? I personally don't think that is always a good idea.
- How is this PoV's personality compared to the other PoVs? Does the character have an unique voice?
- Are there other things about the PoV that makes it unique? Is s/he from another country? Another social standing? Does he bring something fresh to the story? Is s/he the antagonist?
One of the main reasons I enjoy different PoV is those last questions. I'm a firm believer in approaching a conflict from multiple angles. A single PoV introduces a bias I don't like. On the other hand, I love to have a few characters with strong and contradicting bias. I like to think it adds a depth to my story.