1. richardmordecai
    Offline

    richardmordecai New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    A difficult plot point.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by richardmordecai, Feb 13, 2011.

    I've been a long time lurker here on the writing forum but this is first time I've posted. Thank you all for your points of view in the past.

    I've found myself a little stuck with a novel of which I am just finishing my final draft. Without bogging the discussion down with too much plot detail my problem is as follows:

    • The story is written in the first person.
    • The protagonist knows that one of the story's characters is an imposter.
    • I do not want the reader to know this until towards the end of the story.

    It's been pointed out by my editor that it is odd that narrator refers to this particular character as Steven when he knows his real name is Andrew.

    I was hoping for some suggestions or hints on ways I can avoid using the character's name in way which feels natural to the reader.
     
  2. CrimsonReaper
    Offline

    CrimsonReaper Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    8
    Good luck

    I wish you the best of luck, but personally find such deceptive first-person narratives trying at best. They are a cheap gimmick in most instances. The point of first-person is that the reader knows what the POV character knows. I would ask if keeping the reader in the dark is absolutely necessary to the plot. And yes, deliberately refering to a character by a name that isn't the usual one that would be used seems like a cheap way out.

    On a personal level (as in I would not be pissed off to read a novel using this technique) I think this would work if there was more than one viewpoint character. Then you could have a few chapters detailing other people's experiences leading up to the big reveal at the end. It simply won't cut it if there is only one character. Even in a short story.

    Sorry. Just my honest opinion.
     
  3. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Crimson's multi-POV idea is an excellent bit of advice.

    Also, if you don't want to use names, you could just say "him" or something - but I like Crimson's idea better.
     
  4. richardmordecai
    Offline

    richardmordecai New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    No need to apologise - honest opinions are the only ones worth expressing.

    The character is indeed one of several. He is also established as an untrustworthy narrator from the very beginning of the novel. However, I do not wish for him to lie to the reader, only mislead them.
     

Share This Page