1. GuardianWynn
    Offline

    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Messages:
    2,088
    Likes Received:
    672

    A POV issue

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by GuardianWynn, Jul 14, 2015.

    So is changing perspective a bad thing?

    I have this story and the perspectives I show make a big impact on how the story flows. I am not sure if I should pick one. Or change them. And if I pick one which one to pick.

    So the basic plot idea.

    15 years ago a known terrorist committed a massacre inside a church killing 42 people. She vanished into the night shortly after and has not been seen since. Now she has resurfaced; except it isn't her. It is a copy cat that trying to use the reputation of the terrorist to strike fear into the hearts of people. Yet this copy cat has attracted the attention of the military, bounty hunters and worse of all the real terrorist.

    So the story is the fake as she struggles to hold things together as she finds out she is in way over her head. The thing is. The real terrorist and the fake will actually a points be in the same room without realizing. The terrorist persona comes with a costume.

    So I am not sure to play it from
    The real terrorist perspective/hiding or revealing her idenity.
    The Fake's perspective/ hiding or revealing her true identity
    The police or public and hide both of their identities.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Lot's of stories shift character POVs.

    If you do it you can start a new chapter and stay in one character's POV in that chapter, or write in 3rd person omniscient.

    http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/glossary/g/omniscient.htm
     
  3. izzybot
    Offline

    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    867
    Likes Received:
    957
    Location:
    SC, USA
    The fake sounds like your main character. Why not just use her perspective? It's hard to say how it'll effect the flow of your story without having the knowledge you have of your story.

    In general, I don't think changing perspective is bad. I think it's a fairly divisive issue though. As long as whose POV you're currently in is clear I don't see any problems and getting into various characters' heads and seeing the ways they see / think of the same things is cool.
     
  4. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,993
    Likes Received:
    5,503
    I vote for a third party--the police, the real terrorist or fake terrorist's sister, somebody. But that's not because the story requires it, it's just because that's what I would like best. I like the POV character to discover things, and this would produce the maximum discovery.
     
  5. GuardianWynn
    Offline

    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Messages:
    2,088
    Likes Received:
    672
    Yeah but in this case I am switching from the hunter to the hunted. Is that not a weird shift?
     
  6. GuardianWynn
    Offline

    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Messages:
    2,088
    Likes Received:
    672
    Funny enough. The intended ending is for them to get away. So the cops while learning stuff never learn it all.
     
  7. Chewie
    Offline

    Chewie Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2015
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    London, England
    I would say either the copycat or a third party. Are you looking to use the whole copycat as a big plot twist. If so I would avoid using a POV of the original terrorist.
     
  8. GuardianWynn
    Offline

    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Messages:
    2,088
    Likes Received:
    672
    No. The copy cat is pretty obvious actually. She is way to young to be the original. I just think the police wouldn't care. The name is alive again and they want who ever is behind it.

    To me. The big moment is this. For the fake to be running from a scene. For her to see the original and think it is someone coping her. For them the original to stare into her eyes and there to be a moment of fear as she realizes it. That this person is the real one.

    Epic right?

    I think I may have figured it out. Because I realize I have other interesting concepts. Like the real and fake one. There is likely going to be a scene with them both in a room at the same time not in costume and as such unaware of who the other is. I wasn't sure if an audience should know about this yet.

    I think the POV should be slowly expand. Like POV of police, and friends. One of the friends being the fake not in costume. Then to expand from that to the terrorist. and eventually reveal one. Then reveal the other. Does that make sense?

    Tagging people I think might have useful insight and are also cool people.
    @Lea`Brooks
    @Mckk
    @Jack Asher
    @Jillie415
     
  9. Lea`Brooks
    Offline

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,635
    Likes Received:
    1,731
    Location:
    Virginia, United States
    My personal opinion only:

    I think adding additional POV characters for no reason other than a different perspective is a huge waste of time. It wastes your time writing it, and our time reading it. Because I don't know that cop or that bystander or that friend. So I don't care what's going on with them. I care about the MCs. Because they are who the story is about -- not your random POV characters. If they are important to the story somehow, then by all means, add them. But don't throw them in just so you can explain a scene the way you want to. It's lazy writing.

    There's nothing wrong with switching between the fake and the real terrorist.

    Though to be perfectly honest, a book about two terrorists does not sound like something I would want to read. Who's the good guy? Who am I supposed to be rooting for? They're both bad. So I want them both to fail. It just seems pointless to me. A reader always wants to connect with a character on some level. They want to sympathize and understand their motives. A terrorist and a person imitating a terrorist are not people I could relate to. Don't explain the background to me next to help me understand. I know your story. These are just things you need to consider. If done correctly, this could work. Just tread carefully.

    Anyway. I'd write from both the terrorist and the fake. Follow the fake as she does something. Then switch to the terrorist to show how she reacts when learning of the event. Switch back to the fake, and so on. Multiple POVs are a good way to show every aspect of the story and to better connect with each character. And since your story is about both of them, it'd benefit you and the reader to get into their heads equally.
     
  10. GuardianWynn
    Offline

    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Messages:
    2,088
    Likes Received:
    672
    Yeah. That moment you are tempted to info-dump. Well except I know you knew the context. :D lol.

    Funny thing is I am not sure who the main character is. I mean. Is it the real one? Is it the fake?
    Also funny enough. Wouldn't the cop be the good guy you are rooting for?
    The reason this is a big issue is that both the terrorist and the fake have lives I will explore. And I am really uncertain when to reveal that they are bad guys.

    Like current idea. Is to open with them being bad and your point of view being the police hunting them. The twist being the fake is actually friends with the cop. That way I can establish who she is without it hopefully be too obvious.

    In addition the real one comes to town and again would play off this cop when not in costume. Meaning there is a scene with both the cop, the terrorist and the fake all in the same room and no one knows anything! Or at least that is an idea. But how this scene is written depends so heavily on what the reader already knows. Which in tern depends on what POV's I have had. Like should they know both these girls are the bad guys? Wondering if any moment a fight is going to break out? Or should they be realize later on and reflect on those past chances?

    So many options! It hurts me!
     
  11. Lea`Brooks
    Offline

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,635
    Likes Received:
    1,731
    Location:
    Virginia, United States
    My first piece of advice: figure out who your main character is. That should've been the first thing you did, and we can't really help you with that. You know your characters better than we do. I only have one suggestion and that is, who grows the most in your story? Who gets put through the wringer, the woodchipper, and hell to get to the end? Who struggles through the whole story to grow or change or come out on top? I don't want the answers to these questions. These are for you. Because that person should be your main character. Because readers like comeback stories. They like struggle and growth and characters that win (or lose, if it's relevant) in the end. So figure out who that person is, then you can choose the POV character. If you have two MCs, great! I have a WIP now with two MCs. And they're both POV characters.

    As for the cop, is he truly a character or is he just an obstacle? If he's just the guy standing in the way of the terrorists doing what they want, messing up their plans and trying to catch them, he's not a main character, and I wouldn't use him as a POV. But, if he has a story and an arch, then use him as a POV. But ONLY if he has a story arch. Does he have a backstory, a goal (other than to catch the terrorists), a motivation, a growth pattern? If he doesn't have those things, he's not important.

    If he does, to me, he'd be the good guy and I'd expect to see his POV. But doing that would probably drastically change your story. Because it would go from a terrorists trying to catch an impersonator to a cop trying to catch a terrorists. The terrorist trying to catch the fake would almost be a side story IMO and shouldn't be the main focus.

    You should immediately let the reader know the girls are bad. Maybe not in the first chapter, but at least by chapter three or four. Otherwise, what's the point of your story? If the story is, "a girl imitates a notorious terrorist, and the original must put an end to it," but you don't let the reader know that early, what will your story be? A cop chasing a girl chasing another girl? Why? What does the cop want from the girl? Why is that girl so mad at that other girl? What the hell is going on? It seems like a waste of time, and you'll lose your reader immediately. If you don't hook them from the beginning, they'll move on. And while the idea of keeping it a mystery so that it can be a huge shock later SEEMS nice, it's not a plausible story. It just feels like, as a reader, I missed something important and it's hard to follow after that. You don't necessarily have to reveal the details of the crimes these girls committed right away. But yes, the reader should absolutely know in the beginning that they are both bad.
     
    GuardianWynn likes this.
  12. GuardianWynn
    Offline

    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Messages:
    2,088
    Likes Received:
    672
    Really just one question. But to make sure I am clear I will ask it long winded!
    Why is the fact the girls are bad something you need in the beginning? I mean I kind of see it like this. Not sure if this is good but you seem to be arguing against it. So I want to find out what is wrong with it.
    -Maybe open prologue of what the terrorist did way back when.
    - Open with the fake doing something
    -Switch to the cop and like his daughter or something(the cop isn't well established yet.) In this case the daughter being the fake.
    - Have the game of cat and mouse keeping it in the dark that the daughter is the fake.
    - The real one appears. STUFF
    - The real one not in costume would likely pose as a helper. Meaning she can come to the cop and thus be in the room with the fake. This is the scene giving me trouble. It seems to have value in you knowing they are bad but also not knowing they are bad.

    Either way there seems to be value in the fake being hidden or not revealing the daughter is the fake. Why do you think that should be revealed much earlier?

    Thnk you
     
  13. Lea`Brooks
    Offline

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,635
    Likes Received:
    1,731
    Location:
    Virginia, United States
    I think your entire story is based around this cop's daughter imitating this terrorist. If we don't know who the fake terrorist is right away, then your story isn't about a cop's daughter imitating a terrorist. The reader should know what the book is about within the first chapter or two. So by not revealing the key point of the story until much later, then what is your story even about? That's a rhetorical question for you to ponder, not answer.


    Also, read about prologues and why they're bad here.

    The only other thing I have to comment on is, if I as a reader don't know the characters are bad while they are in the same room together, then there is no suspense. Because I don't know who the fake and the real person are. Throw three random people in a room that you don't know and gauge how you'd react. You wouldn't. Because you don't know those people, so it means nothing to you.
     
    GuardianWynn likes this.
  14. GuardianWynn
    Offline

    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Messages:
    2,088
    Likes Received:
    672
    Oh good point on the room concept. Thanks. Also I think I see your point on the other concept. The tension from the daughter and father comes from you knowing what the cop doesn't Being that she is the fake terrorist. Thanks :D

    Hey prologues aren't always bad. lol. They have a valid us don't they?
    Now I am half tempted to start a thread asking if this is a valid use of a prologue
     
  15. Lea`Brooks
    Offline

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,635
    Likes Received:
    1,731
    Location:
    Virginia, United States
    NO. Do not start another thread. Look at that link I just posted. I shared it with you so that you WOULDN'T start another thread. This forum is full of conversations on the use of prologues. Use the search function before you start another topic that's already been beat to death.
     
  16. GuardianWynn
    Offline

    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Messages:
    2,088
    Likes Received:
    672
    Oh. I am kind of bad at internet.

    I did glance at the topic. They said backstory is not what it is for?
    But wouldnt context on who the terrorist is that reemerges be a notable thing that a reader should know before it starts?
     
  17. Lea`Brooks
    Offline

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,635
    Likes Received:
    1,731
    Location:
    Virginia, United States
    That's considered backstory. And giving a big info dump at the beginning of the story is never a good idea. The backstory can come gradually later.
     
  18. GuardianWynn
    Offline

    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Messages:
    2,088
    Likes Received:
    672
    I feel lost. I mean it seems a lot more confusing the other way. If I open with the fake terrorist then they know nothing. Everyone is racing around. Lots of stuff is happening and people are scratching there heads. I think.

    I don't mean to imply I would open with just cold facts. I figured opening on the Massacre of fifteen years previously. It is a big start. It tells you who this person is. So when the story starts with them re-appearing you have something to follow. What exactly is wrong here? I am missing something.
     
  19. Lea`Brooks
    Offline

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,635
    Likes Received:
    1,731
    Location:
    Virginia, United States
    Figuring out how to start the story is something you have to do on your own. It's your story, not mine. I shared my opinion that I don't think you should use a prologue, and I gave you a link to a thread that discusses the pros and cons of using one. That's all I can do for you.
     
    GuardianWynn likes this.
  20. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,993
    Likes Received:
    5,503
    You see this as a bad thing. I see it as a good thing. :) A very good thing.

    Maybe it's because a large percentage of my reading is mysteries, but I think that a book (mystery or not) that explains everything that has happened or is happening, is likely to be a really boring book. It still offers the mystery of what's going to happen, but I think that mystery regarding what has happened and what is happening is also valuable.
     
  21. Sack-a-Doo!
    Offline

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,231
    Likes Received:
    1,511
    Location:
    [unspecified]
    Which character suffers most? Which has the most obstacles to overcome?
     
  22. GuardianWynn
    Offline

    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Messages:
    2,088
    Likes Received:
    672
    I mean. Really? No context? Just dive into this crazy stew of stuff? I mean. The cop, military and bounty hunters all suddenly coming out of the woods to find this person. Gangs getting destroyed by both. People being angry, sad, scared. You wouldn't want some clue into why this terrorist is getting such a reaction?

    Definitly the fake.
    Most people seem to think it is her story. lol
     
    Sack-a-Doo! likes this.
  23. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,993
    Likes Received:
    5,503
    Well, but if you allow the characters to talk to each other, there will be lots of clues.

    "The St. Matthew Church terrorist? No. I don't buy it. Someone doesn't commit mass murder, take a twenty year break, and come back and start again."
    "Fifteen years."
    "Whatever. The principle still stands."
    "Maybe she didn't vanish. Maybe she's been in prison, for something else."


    Just those four lines provide a lot of backstory, right?
     
    Viridian, GuardianWynn and Lea`Brooks like this.
  24. GuardianWynn
    Offline

    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Messages:
    2,088
    Likes Received:
    672
    Damn you are awesome.

    Now I am wondering when you think a prologue should be used?
     
  25. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,993
    Likes Received:
    5,503
    Never?

    OK, I'm sure that there are times when they're valuable, but I've never actually seen one that (1) was valuable and (2) needed to be named a prologue. The prologue of Rumer Godden's In This House of Brede, for example, was dandy, but I felt that it was a dandy Chapter 1.
     
    GuardianWynn likes this.

Share This Page