1. Faithch
    Offline

    Faithch New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Western Pennsylvania

    A few things

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Faithch, Nov 23, 2008.

    So I have a few things to ask

    I. Are four main characters to much?
    ~I am writing in a 1st person point of view and switching who's perspective I'm in every once in a while to get inside different people's heads. As a reader, would you find that confusing?

    II. How far is too far?
    ~I wrote this character, her name is June, and she is the prime example of the "I'm a princess, treat me like one" kind of girl. Is it going too far if I'm having her think thoughts of questions like "Oh, my gosh! How could the teacher tell me I was wrong and embarrass me like that?" if the question fits in with her princess-attitude?

    III. How to divvy it up?
    ~When I switch perspectives, how would you switch it. I've tried just putting the name of the character right before the PoV switches, so it looks like:
    Holly

    I sat at my desk....

    Autumn

    I picked up my pencil.....

    (etc.)

    Is that okay to do?

    I'm not sure if these are character development, but I wasn't sure.
     
  2. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    If you are writing from four POVs, why the heck would you choose first person narrative? All the reasons for using first person favor a single POV. I have seen first person work successfully for a main character and one antagonist, but it required a very skilled author. I really don't think it is a good choice for more than one POV for most instances

    As for how much is too much, if you can really imagine your character thinking a particular thought, do it. Just make sure you phrase it from the character's perspective AT THAT MOMENT. I would finf your example in improbable thought as written..
    Would be more plausible to me.

    I would change POVs at chapter boundaries, or possibly at scene boundaries. Your switching proposals seem too intrusive for my taste. You can do it that way, but I wouldn't.
     
  3. lordofhats
    Offline

    lordofhats Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    2,023
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    The Hat Cave
    I agree with Cog here. No real reason using First person when you're going to be changing POV between several characters. Third person is better for it.

    If it fits her attitude it fits her attitude. Write the character and thats the best you can do.

    When I want to change POV, I usually end the chapter and move on into the next one. Sometimes I'll use a section break instead if what the character I'm switching too is doing really needs to be in the same chapter or feels like it should be as directly connected to the previous POV as possible.
     
  4. architectus
    Offline

    architectus Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,796
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Ca
    I would also use third person. Honestly you don't really lose anything using third person. You can get just as deep and personal using third person.
     
  5. mynameissarahgrace
    Offline

    mynameissarahgrace Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    The biggest little city
    I'd definitely use third person.
    I'm a good reader, trust me, but whenever I read books written with even just two POV's in first person, I get confused.

    But probably let each character have a chapter of his/her own.

    You could still show other characters in the one character's designated chapter. It could be June's chapter, but you could have June look over at Holly and show/tell what Holly's doing. Or have them talk to each other. I like reading books like this, because you get to see all of the different perspectives of one character.

    Sorry about the run-on sentences and confusion in general - I'm a bit tired. :redface:
     
  6. Tee-chan
    Offline

    Tee-chan New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Gainesville, FL
    I have four MCs and depending on the situation, i change the POV because they all have their own personal memories. I use my characters' initials.

    [JD]

    "I remember my childhood really well..."

    [JM]

    "My father was an illegal immigrant..."

    [VC]

    "My mother used this excuse to justify..."

    ...and so on. I didn't find mine confusing, but there is a prelude and they introduce themselves so that the reader knows that they are there...
     
  7. Dcoin
    Offline

    Dcoin Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    279
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    NYC
    A story I finished recently has two MC and is written in the 1st person. It was a challenge. The one aspect that made it a little easier to write was that the story lines ran parallel and were not intertwined till the very end.

    I think four MC is too hard for the reader to sift through.
     
  8. NigeTheHat
    Offline

    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    580
    Location:
    London
    Point #1: It can be done.

    Point #2: It will be very, very hard to pull off with four characters. It's hard enough to pull off with one, creating a style that sounds real enough and looking onto a world through the filter of your MC's mind, and you'll need to do that four times over and make them all interesting, and all distinctive from each other.

    Point #3: It's your story, write it in whatever perspective you please. But given the structure, I would certainly recommend trying it out in 3rd person as well 1st - you could well find it works better. You could even do a mixture of 3rd and 1st, though that's another trick that's very hard to pull off without seeming pretentious.
     
  9. FreakierThanThou
    Offline

    FreakierThanThou New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oregon
    I agree that third person would be easier in that situation. Also, I usually don't like to see the names of a character above the passage from their points of view. My opinion is that you should try to incorporate who they are into the first sentence or two. Obviously, that's easier if you're using third person.

    About the character's thoughts, I'd say: go with their voice, but make sure it doesn't go too stereotypical.
     

Share This Page