1. Chachi Bobinks
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    Chachi Bobinks Senior Member

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    Best way to throw a POV around without breaking the law?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Chachi Bobinks, May 2, 2011.

    Hi everyone!

    I'm needing some advice here, if you don't mind! I don't know if what I'm contemplating will work (or if it would be a good idea in the first place) and figured I'd ask around before I shoot myself in the foot here!

    My main character is Emily and she is tied to Male 1. I have a secondary character named Mollie, who is tied to Male 2. In the end, Male 1 & 2 are actually the same person, operating off different identities. Now, Mollie's time with Male 2 is not going to be much and telling her side of the story isn't exact necessary, I just feel that it might add some in there. The problem is that I am writing the story 1st person, Emily narration. She won't have any idea about the bulk of what Mollie is doing. Should I maybe do a chapter in Emily, then switch out to Mollie 1st person? Or maybe switch out to Mollie 3rd person? Or should I scrap the whole idea and just rock on with Emily alone?

    I've read a lot of posts here on HOW to do the switch, btw, I guess I'm more asking if I should in the first place. Or for this particular situation, which POV you guys think would be best. Sorry if I'm asking the question everyone seems to ask.. I'm just looking for advice. Plus I keep thinking back to the Babysitter's Club when I think about changing narrators, lol, and how they'd do that every other chapter and how insanely confusing it was to keep up with it at times. I don't want to cause that kind of trouble!
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    You can do a different POV per chapter, or several scene switches within the same chapter. Do it however you want, there's no right way. Just make sure there's a clear scene break and you make it clear who's who.
     
  3. katnip
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    katnip Member

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    i think it would be cool to have a 1st person narritation from two people like that. is that main plot of the story the way male 1 &2 are the same person? that would help the reader put together the clues of whats going on, if that helps. plus, i read "the memory keeper's daughter", and the chapters alternate the POV from three different adults
     
  4. Chachi Bobinks
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    Chachi Bobinks Senior Member

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    I will work hard to make sure it is properly executed then! And yes, the main plot is just that. We've got the story of a man who is a Prince and his life with a woman he is in love with. Then at the same time, I want us to have the story of this same man as the King (different name as he switches from using a middle name as a kid to his proper first name, his father's name, once he becomes King) with a completely different woman. I'd love for calculating reader to figure it out but want to keep it elusive enough that some might just not know.
     
  5. katica
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    katica Senior Member

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    It's hard to say what to do without knowing the plot like you do, but I thought I'd give you some more options to consider besides the ones already suggested . . . .

    You could also make the whole thing from the POV of the guy.

    And also you could do it like this. Sometimes not cluing in the audience to the thing that's going on can make a story more interesting.

    You could have Mollie and Emily as friends and they both talk about their new boyfriend and Emily finds strangely that Mollie's boyfriend and hers have a lot of things in common. It starts making her mad and she thinks Mollie is just making stuff up about her boyfriend to try to compete with Emily and they fight about it until they suddenly find they are dating the same person. And that way you could keep it all from Emily's perspective.
     
  6. Chachi Bobinks
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    Chachi Bobinks Senior Member

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    I don't know how I didn't think to do it from his POV. Might not be as fun as writing as one of his spunky women but it certainly will help in the long run, I'm sure.
     
  7. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    If that is your problem, then why not write it in 3rd person? That way you will avoid the problem of switching pov.

    Realistically, without knowing your story it is difficult give advice. You need to try different pov and see what works best.

    You could do a chapter or more from the view point of someone else - it as been done before.
     
  8. Earlychop
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    Earlychop Member

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    Try writing your main protagonist in first person through chapters 1-3 then add a 1 or 2 page 3rd person view (over the shoulder + thoughts) of the actions Mollie takes. Continue with the 4-5 maybe 6th chapter and then jump back to Mollie - again in 3rd person, but this time add more detail. Show links between the two worlds they live in to give the reader a sense of place. As the story progresses you could add these 3rd person Mollie episodes more often - possibly an episode at the end of each chapter - until the climax whereby both their worlds meet.

    Subtle hints linking the two will create suspense but you have to be careful not to let the reader work it out too early. OR!!! You could let them work it out / mid book, and then pull the rug from under them with a juicy twist at the end.

    Sounds intriguing, good luck mate.
     
  9. Earlychop
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    Earlychop Member

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    Oh, and another thing. In order to give the reader the impression of a definitive break in the story, try to leave them with a question to ponder or a serene or peaceful moment at the chapters end. It should either be a point of reflection in which the reader can take a breather, or a major decision or plot twist - revealed right at the end of the transitory chapter (preferably on the last page).
     
  10. Quorum1
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    Quorum1 Member

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    I wouldn't do it unless it's an even mix of both character's POV - that is, just as much story from one character as the other. However, it won't hurt to write it, you can always take it out later if it doesn't work!
     
  11. Chachi Bobinks
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    Chachi Bobinks Senior Member

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    Oooh, I like that idea. I was thinking about that at first but for some reason I had it in my head that there had to be a definite pattern to the POV switches. I can always do that and if it doesn't work, move the short Mollie chapters around or, of course, completely take them out if it is too awkward!
     
  12. Earlychop
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    Earlychop Member

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    It has many advantages. If handled correctly the Mollie sections will grow in detail and importance as the story goes on and the reader will learn in anticipate them and love them - particularly if your prose is slightly altered to account for both a change of POV and Mollie's inherently different personality.

    However, you should be mindful of that very first POV change will be the most difficult to transition to smoothly as the reader won't be expecting it. That first Millie chapter has got to be a killer.

    Perhaps the last chapter before the first Mollie chapter could feature a Mollie/Emily scene at the end - then Mollie parts way, leading to her own and first chapter.

    Just a thought of course.
     
  13. Chachi Bobinks
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    Chachi Bobinks Senior Member

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    That is sheer genius. I've tried to whip out a Mollie chapter a couple of times and yes, the inspiration for this post was because of that exact thing. Mollie is such a dramatically different person from Emily that the change in rhythm was distracting. To keep me from mixing my tones up, I might just write the whole thing with Emily and do Mollie after. That way I can safely change tones and keep the two clean-cut.
     
  14. Earlychop
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    Earlychop Member

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    LOL..... get ****ed.


    Sorry far too many sexual overtones in that last post.
     
  15. Chachi Bobinks
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    Chachi Bobinks Senior Member

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    LOL, I just re-read that and about died. THANKS. :p
     
  16. Earlychop
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    Earlychop Member

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    just be careful when you whip out a millie chapter.
     
  17. Chachi Bobinks
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    Chachi Bobinks Senior Member

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    I will be certain to whip out very gently.
     
  18. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Unbalanced mixes can work well (Wide Sargasso Sea, for instance). There's nothing that says the characters need equal weight.
     
  19. eMotive-
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    eMotive- Member

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    Before each POV, you could write the name of the character narrating the chapter in italics.

    I've also seen writers use different writing styles to convey the fact that the chapter is being written from a different POV. For example, you could have the two different characters specialise in certain fields - one is an artist and another is a scientist.
    The metaphors you use for each chapter and the way things are described will then differ according to the character. The artist would see things dreamily, and liken them to art pieces or techniques, and the scientist would see things logically, drawing comparisons with the laws of science.
     

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