1. thabear637
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    thabear637 Member

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    2 main characters?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by thabear637, Jan 11, 2011.

    Writing a novel, and I started off with a main character, and lots of side characters. I am switching up the POV between 3-4 of them. As I've been developing them, one of them has realllllly came to life, and I have been putting a lot of emphasis on him.

    Is there a problem if say halfway through the book, it seems like it could be more about a different character then the first half seemed to be about?

    Or perhaps this could be a good practice? I have thought back to books I have read, and I can't pinpoint any specific novel that this happens to. In the end of this one, both the MC and this other one will likely have about the same importance to the novel.
     
  2. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    It can work, maybe you intertwine their POVs together, so you have one chapter in your first MC's POV then the another one later on i your other MC's POV. Maybe, for the first half of the book, the chapter mainly consist of that character's POV you want to focus on, with a few chapters in the other's POV?
    Sorry if that was confusing..
    Hoped it helped xD
     
  3. thabear637
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    thabear637 Member

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    Oh yes, I was definately going to switch up the chapters with different POV's. The main character has a lot in the beginning, but I have about 3-4 different POV's I write about...but 2 more then any others (and in the beginning my MC gets about 2/3 of the chapters.)
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have one novel I split in half and did from two POVs - it is working really well. I have read books like that trying to remember any other than the Hardy Boys Undercover series just before bed is proving a challenge lol
     
  5. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Ah, I see.
    Maybe you can lower it down to 2, if its hard to put all those POVs into your story?
    It's really easy to confuse the reader, so its best to stick to 1-2 POVs in my opinion.
     
  6. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Speaking as a reader - I think I would find it hard to keep track on who's who!
    If you switch the mc half way through the novel, would it not be better to split it into two separate novels?
     
  7. Clumsywordsmith
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    Clumsywordsmith Active Member

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    Do be careful doing this. Readers might become attached to particular characters, and gradually become more and more frustrated as the story keeps branching off, devoting itself to a broader cast of characters that they may or may not be quite so interested in. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't -- and much of the time it's largely dependent on the reader in question.

    Asimov's Foundation series worked for me despite this trait, with main characters only serving as movers for the larger plot at hand. George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, however, failed miserably for me in this regard; by the time I got to A Feast for Crows I had entirely lost interest with the story, which it seemed he was just dragging along with no particular goal in mind. Asimov kept a central plot in focus the entire time, one that the reader was always aware of, even if they couldn't guess at the specific details. Martin's tale, unfortunately, began to wander. He managed to destroy the focus of the first few books, and the later works merely began to feel like useless filler. Almost another series altogether, really, with almost none of the original characters lasting to carry the story through their point of view.

    That, more than anything, is what you want to avoid. You might enjoy developing new and interesting characters, but the vast majority of your readers will be more interested in following a few characters all the way through to the end. Or, if the characters don't make it, at the very least the plot itself should.
     
  8. Sham
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    I'm not a fan of switching POVs' between 3-4 characters. Try 1-2. Or 1-3. 4 is WAAAAY to much. But if your confident, go ahead.
     
  9. thabear637
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    thabear637 Member

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    Thanks for the input. I will tread lightly on this, but I want to try this I guess. The idea of extra POV's is because I feel it helps the story out if you know a small bit of things going on in other places your hero may not know.

    My main question was just spawned due to my character basically getting himself in a very important part of the story. I suppose it all ends up how well I write it up.
     
  10. Naiyn
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    Naiyn Contributing Member

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    Switching POV is perfectly fine, even with 3-4 different characters. One thing to keep in mind, is your main character-- whoever he/she is-- needs to be in someway the focus of the scene or chapter even if your using a different POV character for that scene/chapter.

    In other words, tell the story of what's going on with your MC, but from a different viewpoint character. If your story switches point of view, but there's no discernable tie-in to the central character, you might just lose your audience.
     
  11. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That sounds really interesting I think. Cus no one expects it, and admittedly it's usually in anime, but I've seen how an author wrote in really, really good characters and back stories for all her side characters, but then she NEVER DEVELOPS THEM!!! The whole story in the end was focused only on her MC, and I feel like the story was never quite complete and was very disappointed with the lack of development everywhere else, simply because she's actually done a good job of creating good characters.

    So especially when you're giving so many POVs, I think I may even be a disappointment if you DIDN'T give at least one new character some emphasis and development. I think it'd actually thrill your readers for them to see someone else come to life - especially if you've written a good story for that specific character too.
     
  12. D.T.Roberts
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    D.T.Roberts Senior Member

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    If you've seen the movie "CRASH", it works quite well if done correctly.
     
  13. EineKleine
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    EineKleine Member

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    The only books i can really think of that have multiple central protagonists are Epic Fantasy books.

    Wheel of Time
    Lord of the Rings
    A Song of Fire and Ice

    Actually fantasy frequently has several protagonists.
     
  14. Vacuum Eater
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    Vacuum Eater Senior Member

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    Very true and well said.
     
  15. thabear637
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    thabear637 Member

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    I am writing a fantasy novel, perhaps I should have mentioned this.

    I have read a lot of fantasy novels with a lot of pov's, which is why I have not worried about that. I just don't believe I've read one where say, another character got developed to about the same amount as the main character.
     
  16. EineKleine
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    EineKleine Member

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    Well one that does is the Wheel of Time. There are six or seven central protagonists, who all are richly developed. Most central character's in the series are developed as well, if not more deeply than the main character. It is an absolutely dynamite series as well, if you haven't read it. Easily the best epic fantasy around.
     
  17. thabear637
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    thabear637 Member

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    I've yet to read that series, perhaps I should! I have been reading the sword of truth, Shannara, and Codex Alera series'. I will add that series to the mix!
     

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