1. funandgames
    Offline

    funandgames New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    UK

    A matter of perspective

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by funandgames, Aug 1, 2016.

    Hey guys/gals,

    I'm looking for a bit of guidance to do with perspective. I'm currently writing my first ever manuscript (yay!) and am doing so in the third-person limited perspective. My current issue is that my protagonist is going away for a chapter or so, (he's been captured by the bad guys) and a secondary character is going to mount a rescue.

    This means that the protagonist will not feature at all in this chapter. I don't want the readers to be able to hear the thoughts inside the secondary characters head, as she has secrets that I want the reader to discover at the same time as the protagonist. So I guess that this chapter will be told in a general third-person (non-omniscient)

    My question is: how do others cope with this? Is it normal to change perspective mid-novel? Would the readers be confused etc?

    Or is this a complete non-issue as long as you make it clear to the reader what perspective they are in?

    Sorry for the very noobish question!

    Thanks,
     
  2. NiallRoach
    Offline

    NiallRoach Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    279
    Location:
    The middle of the UK
    If it's a regular thing, then no problem. If it's a one time thing, maybe avoid it. That kind of thing was fairly common in the past, but modern readers shy away from it, generally.
     
  3. funandgames
    Offline

    funandgames New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    UK
    In the outline that I have for the manuscript it only has this one occasion where the protagonist would be out of the picture for any length of time. The chapter is slightly important as it introduces a new character and kicks off a subplot, so it would be nice to keep it, and find a way that I can tell the story without confusing/annoying the readers!
     
  4. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,667
    Likes Received:
    5,162
    I agree with @NiallRoach - if you regularly include bits from the secondary character's POV, I'd have no problem with it, but it would be weird to just have one chapter in isolation.

    Can you just stay in the main POV and have the secondary character doing the rescuing without details? Anything we need to know, she could explain to the MC.
     
  5. funandgames
    Offline

    funandgames New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    UK
    So you mean - chapter starts with the secondary character saving the protagonist, then having her explain to him how she did it and what she went through?
     
  6. OurJud
    Offline

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,028
    Likes Received:
    942
    Location:
    England
    But from what I understand, this secondary character and MC will be apart, so how would that work?

    I'm no help, I'm afraid. Your hurdle here is exactly the reason I only write in 1st person. It makes life so much easier.
     
  7. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,667
    Likes Received:
    5,162
    Yeah, if it's necessary for the readers to know exactly how she did it.

    Or they could retrace her steps as they escape from the building and the MC could work it out as they went.

    What's the purpose of showing the secondary character performing the rescue? Are you trying to build her up as a capable strategist, or show that she'll take risks to save the MC, or...? I'd figure out what the goal is and then see if there isn't some other way of meeting that goal.
     
  8. deadrats
    Offline

    deadrats Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    641
    Likes Received:
    294
    I think when we decide a POV, it's worth trying to stick to it and giving it a shot. This would mean that the readers only learn of things and know things filtered through your POV character in limited third. I think too many POVs is a distraction. Be omni or be limited. I'm not sure you can do both. Well, you can do whatever you want. The main thing to keep in mind here is clarity. Will the reader still have clarity regardless of what you decide to do?
     
  9. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,995
    Likes Received:
    5,503
    In this case, and assuming that you REALLY need to follow the rescue plan, I would switch from third person limited from your protagonist's POV, to third person limited from the POV of someone in the rescue party. If there's only one person in the rescue party and it's the one with the secrets, AND the secrets are quite likely to come to that character's mind and it will feel like cheating if they don't....that's a difficulty. Is that the situation?
     
  10. funandgames
    Offline

    funandgames New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    UK
    Pretty much the situation yeah. Thanks for all the advice everyone, I have decided to stick to the protagonists POV for this chapter and just alter the structure of it slightly so she can explain things as they are busy doing all of the escape stuff. I'm just trying to avoid the whole cliche of 'being rescued at the last minute' feel to it now. I think my main character is going to have to take a beating now just to make the rescue more dramatic. Hope he doesn't mind :p
     

Share This Page