1. Gloria Sythe
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    Gloria Sythe Member

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    Adding/introducing a second, second person character later on.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Gloria Sythe, Dec 6, 2014.

    I have come to a dilemma in my story writing. I have a well established third person character with a POV to give the story a sound beginning; however, a second character with a third person POV will be introduced (in chapter three) to give the female's POV of the same scene.

    Basically, it is a pioneer man who has ordered a mail-order bride who comes onto the scene at a later date; however, both both characters become main characters to the story.

    Is this a usual way of writing in a new main character or, is it a bit out of line with character introduction?

    My thread title is written wrong but, I can't change it for some reason.

    Gloria
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Not quite sure what the problem is. Lots of novels switch to different characters and their own POVs throughout the book. Generally if you are writing first person you should change chapters when you change POVs. Otherwise you might want to write in third person omniscient.
     
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  3. A.J. Pruitt
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    A.J. Pruitt Member

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    Gloria; If I am reading your post correctly, you want to introduce a second person as a main character of your story. Actually, this is quite common in historical novels, fiction or non-fiction stories. This is especially common when writing about our pioneering past. I wouldn't say you are switching POVs; just adding a second POV to your initial main character's POV. (Am I on the right wave length with your question?)


    You indicated that your first character has ordered a mail order bride who will become part and parcel with developing her partner’s growth. Consider it this way: when a man (husband) and a woman (wife) become building partners of each other’s lives, they more or less become one with their suffering, happiness and growths. They grow together and fail together.


    To tell you the truth, I am a born sucker for these types of stories.


    Carry on with what you are writing and don’t fret over a minor detail where you feel may be only slightly outside of someone else’s rules. You are on the right track.
     
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  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you concerned b/c the woman's POV isn't introduced until later?

    Maybe you could have her POV earlier, giving us an idea of why she's willing to become a mail-order bride, etc.
     
  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Recently there seems to be a lot of threads saying, "I'm doing this this way. Is it wrong?"

    Anyway, surely you've read books with more than one POV?

    My short answer: Do whatever you like. It's very common to have more than one POV, and to be honest, even if it were not common, that wouldn't make it a problem, and it wouldn't mean you shouldn't do it. While it's good to follow tried and trusted ways, it is also good to break conventions and explore (once you know what you're doing, of course). Have some confidence in yourself. You can do it, and do it in the way your story needs. Not every story needs the same thing. As long as you can make it work, the truth is nobody cares how you do it, because readers just want a damn good story :D

    You're a writer. You do know what you're doing. Trust your instincts! And if anything ends up wrong, you can always edit/rewrite. Nothing's set in stone. All the best!
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I think this is the key part of the question - a scene already presented in one POV presented later on in different POV. I'm not going to tell you whether I think it's a good idea or a bad one, because, as @Mckk already stated, you have to trust your instincts.

    My concern would be that you may be writing a great deal that is repetitious, and that risks losing the reader when (s)he realizes, "Hey, I read this already!" So, I think you probably have to prepare the reader (somehow - you'll have to figure out exactly how) no later than the start of the repeated scene what you are doing. You'll also need to make sure that the narrative voice reflects the POV character in both cases, almost as if you were writing each in 1st person. For example, her narrative might include details that his does not (and vice versa).

    Good luck.
     
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  7. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd also recommend avoiding the repetition of an entire scene. If you want to convey the woman's feelings during that scene, you could have her fuming/musing/whatevering about it while she's doing something else that contributes to the plot.
     
  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yes. I did this a dual perspective shtick lot in my first drafts of my novel. I assumed it would be interesting for the reader to watch the same event from two different perspectives. I happily clung to that notion until a recent beta-reader pointed out how annoying it was to read scenes twice. He was very tactful, saying: you do a good job of showing what happens so I can figure out what both characters are thinking. Then I have to read it all over again. That's irritating.

    Wow.

    So I went through the story, eliminating repetition AND actually swapping the POV character for one scene. As soon as I made that particular shift, I knew it was the right thing to do. Not only did it present the story from the more important character's point of view alone, BUT it allowed me to insert something else important into the mix ...something this character knew but the other one didn't. I was able to reduce overall word count as well, which for me, a chronic overwriter, is an accomplishment.

    For the future, I've learned to pick whichever character's perspective is the most important for the reader to watch in any scene. Give the POV to that character. At the same time, you can show enough of what's happening so the reader can figure out what the other characters' opinions and feelings are. Then resist the urge to write the scene again.

    It's okay to insert a couple of sentences later on, in another POV, that reveals the new character's feelings or thoughts during the previous scene ...something along the lines of: "She refused to forgive him for what he'd said to her at the party, but was willing to give him a chance to redeem himself." But resist the urge to relive the event again in any detail.
     

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