* * *
centered on the page with a blank line above them (before which the first p.o.v. character holds sway, and another blank line below (after which you can switch to a different character's p.o.v.)
The main reason not to change p.o.v. without a break is clarity of story. You don't want to confuse readers by jumping from inside one character's head to inside another's in the same paragraph or flow of paragraphs. And, mushing more than one point of view into a thought-thread can take the reader out of the story and make them take a few moments to figure out which character was thinking what. You really don't want that, because then you've committed the cardinal sin of inserting your authorial voice into the narrative, thereby interfering with the story.
(We're not talking about dialogue, here, btw, which is correctly used to show an exchange of points of view between characters on a page. We're talking about the characters' thoughts being shown as thoughts, not dialogue.)
Below is a paragraph that demonstrates the problem of changing p.o.v. in a paragraph.
"Two hours and half a dozen stops later, Bennett pronounced himself satisfied that Anna was properly equipped. For him, it had been an unexpected pleasure to see the transformation from tough girl to elegant woman. Even for Anna, who declared loudly and often that she hated shopping, it had been good to feel a man's obvious interest and—despite Bennett's facetious way of expressing it—admiration. Unlike Poe, whose flattery had always been delivered word perfect, as though he had memorized lines from the roués phrase book, Bennett's compliments had an unrehearsed, engaging warmth about them, as there was about him generally. At least, whenever he allowed it to show through." (p. 131, Anything Considered by Peter Mayle)
The paragraphs before this one are from Bennett's p.o.v. Does it bother you that both p.o.v.'s are in this paragraph? Before I started writing, it probably would not have bothered me. The writing is good. Mayle's autobiographical novels, A Year in Provence and Toujours Provence, are among my favorites, but I couldn't help noticing that, in this one, there were lots of p.o.v. changes within paragraphs.
I read differently now than I used to.
I've heard it said that great writers can pull off a p.o.v. change without a break. The example usually given is from Lady Chatterly's Lover, when the gardener (the lover) enters the lady's home carrying a basket of apricots. The scene is in his point of view at that point, and as his thoughts are expressed he hands the basket to Lady Chatterly, at which time the p.o.v. changes to hers. Seamlessly.
Where do you stand on this issue?