1. Thyrokio
    Offline

    Thyrokio New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0

    Can I write such a thing in a third person narrative?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Thyrokio, Mar 16, 2012.

    The passages related to my question will be followed by a *.


    Kyle was about to reply when he felt a hand on his shoulder.

    "Accusing me of what?"

    He froze.

    No... this wasn't possible! Lynn was supposed to be out recording a song. She entered the house and got behind him soundlessly too... *

    Such a frightening woman! *


    These parts feel like we're directly in the character's head, which is what I wanted.

    I'm really not sure if it's correct for a third person narrative though, is it?
     
  2. funkybassmannick
    Offline

    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    That's fine. It's third person limited, which is in many ways similar to first person in that you can get into their head a little more than third person omniscient.
     
  3. madhoca
    Offline

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    I'm afraid I find this hard to understand, and the POV hops from one thing to another.

    Kyle was about to reply when he felt a hand on his shoulder.

    "Accusing me of what?"

    He froze.

    No... this wasn't possible! Lynn was supposed to be out recording a song.
    She entered the house and got behind him soundlessly too... (too? do you mean to ... ? This can't be Kyle's POV if he didn't notice her. It's a kind of omniscient POV)

    Such a frightening woman!

    The parts in italics are all Kyle's POV--so why don't you simply make it all his POV? Much more pleasant to read, and less jarring.

    E.G.

    Kyle was about to reply when he felt a hand on his shoulder.

    "Accusing me of what?"

    He froze.

    No... this wasn't possible! Lynn was supposed to be out recording a song. Why did she have to sneak up behind him like that? Such a frightening woman!
     
  4. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    ditto that!... mad has it nailed... i'd have said the same thing...
     
  5. Thyrokio
    Offline

    Thyrokio New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I see what you mean madhoca.

    I'll try explaining what I meant by the "too..." part.

    The thing is, Lynn is an assassin posing as a singer. Kyle had his suspicions about that and he was currently trying to convince someone else of that fact when Lynn entered the scene.

    He made sure that she was out of the house before trying to talk about her, since he feared for his life. Lynn just came back early.

    When he felt a hand on his shoulder and heard her voice, he realized that she was suddenly behind him (she sneaked up on him).

    When he thought "She entered the house and got behind him soundlessly too...", he was mentally adding that to the list of suspicious things about Lynn.

    Usually, he'd have heard the front door open and some footsteps or something. That character (Kyle) is becoming really paranoid too.

    Is it still from an omniscient POV in that case?

    If so, I must not understand limited and omniscient POV correctly. I'll read up on it more.

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.
     
  6. madhoca
    Offline

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    I understand, now you have explained. Unfortunately, the way you have written it doesn't make it clear that the sentence is still his thoughts because of the punctuation and tense.

    You need: 'She had entered the house and got behind him soundlessly, too'. However, to make it even clearer, try:

    No... this wasn't possible! Lynn was supposed to be out recording a song. Now, on top of everything else, she had entered the house and crept up on him... Such a frightening woman!

    Now it is obvious that it is all his thoughts. You don't need to have the last bit on another line, since it's just more internal dialogue. If you say 'crept up', you can avoid the annoying adverb and wordiness.
     
  7. Thyrokio
    Offline

    Thyrokio New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I see the difference now, your sentence reads much better. I think understanding that will increase the quality of my writing.

    Thanks :).
     
  8. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    sorry to have to disagree with part of that otherwise very good suggestion, mad, but the insertion of an ellipsis there is incorrect... as is the way it's used, with a blank space on one end...

    plus, i hope you weren't recommending the use of italics...
     
  9. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    ellipsis spacing is different in the UK to the US.
     
  10. madhoca
    Offline

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    Sorry, I should make it clear that I was only using italics there to differentiate the quote from the rest of my post! Normally, they wouldn't be needed.

    I left the ellipsis in because I did not want to over-edit the OP's post. You'll notice the ellipsis was there originally. I don't think it's necessary to take it out, personally, and as Elgaisma says, we space like that in the UK--but it's an important point to make for writers from the US, I guess.
     

Share This Page