1. AfterBroadway
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    AfterBroadway Senior Member

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    Can Two Perspectives Work?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by AfterBroadway, Aug 31, 2011.

    By this I mean, can you write a story with two narrators? Have you seen this before? I have an idea for a story that requires writing in the third, and first person.

    I would like to describe a scene in the third person, but I want the character to talk to the reader directly, in dialogue, if that makes sense. Can this be achieved?
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Yes, it can be done and has been done before. It all depends on the skill of the writer.
     
  3. AfterBroadway
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    AfterBroadway Senior Member

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    Can you maybe name something, so I could look at an example?
     
  4. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    The readers can't obviously talked back, so it can't be a dialogue. How would you let the readers know the character is talking directly to them?If there are also dialogues between the char themselves, how would you differenciate it from the ones between the chars and readers. May be the only way it can be done is by making the chars refer to the readers as 'you'. Definitely challenging technically and if not skillfully handled, it can become a mess.

    Apart from the technical thing, I usually don't like it when chars in movies and TV serials directly talk to the camera/viewers, except, may be in some comic situation. So, I've a bad feeling about this.
     
  5. AfterBroadway
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    AfterBroadway Senior Member

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    No, they obviously can't hold an actual conversation, but when you read something, you aren't just reading, correct? You usually interact a little in your own head, whether it's responding to the character, or just having an opinion on what he or she is saying or doing. The reader would know the character is talking to them because I'm going to make it quite obvious no other characters are in the story or interacting with my main character. Something like this...

    "Hey, you, I'm eating pork chops. Do you like pork chops? If not, go to hell."
    Except not that fucking stupid :D

    This is something I have to be careful with I guess, because you aren't the only person who's said to me they don't like this in movies. I'm going to have to make the character likeable enough, or the story interesting enough to pull this off I think.

    I've got a bad feeling about your ugly face.
    I crack my immature self up.
     
  6. Lightman
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    Lightman Active Member

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    My favorite novel is told from I think thirty-sex perspectives. So it certainly can be done.
     
  7. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Watch the language. Just because the censor was taken down, it doesn't make it okay to swear, and even if you're joking around, try not to be offensive. It bothers me when people ask for advice and proceed to be immature rather than taking and working with the advice itself.

    To the note of having both first person and third person in a single work, I'd say that I don't think I could stick with reading it for very long. It sounds as though it has the potential to, really, just be erratic and cumbersome to read.

    I'll say the same thing as I said to someone else earlier this evening who wanted advice on first and third person use; using both in a single piece will emphasise the flaws and weaknesses that you have in one of them. You will naturally be better in one and worse in another.

    In your case, it's even worse because from the sounds of it, you want to meld it together. My honest opinion is that I think it's a flawed idea, best left to experimental literature.
     
  8. AfterBroadway
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    AfterBroadway Senior Member

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    Listen to me. I appreciate all the advice given to me by posters. Every little piece, even if I disagree with it. Now, if some of them are offended by me using 'Fuck' occasionally, that is their hang-up, not mine. Anytime I use the word, which is frequently, it is almost never used in a way in which I am trying to hurt or offend someone.
    Please don't tell me to watch my language. I am adult, and I will speak the way I'd like to speak, whether it makes me look immature and dumb or not. If that causes a mod to ban me, I wouldn't want to be here anyway.

    Back to the subject...
    This is actually experimental anyway. If it works, then I'll be proud of myself, if not, I won't be surprised. I was wondering what others might think about something written that way. The majority of people so far a little against it, so I'll probably have to be keeping this piece to myself.
     
  9. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Switching narrator is common -- The Moonstone, If nobody speaks of remarkable things, lots of others.
    The narrator can address the reader directly, but it looks tricky to make some other character do it. I'd be interested to know if you can pull it off.
     

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