1. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    Changing characters in the 3RD person?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Dagolas, Feb 8, 2012.

    When switching between characters who are far away apart, should you do it like this:


    Or should you change chapters?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    POV changes are best handled at scene or chapter transitions. I would not signal a transition with "Meanwhile," though. There are better ways too indicate time or place. Rather than trying to enumerate them, though, I would recommend reading various novels, from a variety of authors, and even a variety of genres.
     
  3. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    ... he felt himself fading. The forest floor was cool and damp. And then he was gone.

    Dagolas stormed across the Great Hall of Castle Harbinger...

    Something like that is pretty clear. Your reader would have to be half asleep to not notice the scene has changed location.

    (forgive the terrible writing, Lord I'm bad at writing examples out of context)
     
  4. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    I see.

    Scene change, got it. But I have read alot of chapter change one's (Dracula for example.)
     
  5. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sometimes the pov-change happens to coincide with the change of chapter, but neither one is depending on the other. If the chapter is finished it's finished and you should start the next pov in it's own chapter, if it belongs to the same chapter you use a scene-break. Sounds confusing? Don't worry, a little practise and you'll be able to decide which is the right choice in every situation.
     
  6. PolarBear
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    PolarBear New Member

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    In a Song of Ice and Fire there are a lot of POV characters. The POV changes with chapter. It makes it easier to understand and much more "organized" in my honest opinion.

    This way, you can focus much more on the development of the POV characters you are writing about that specific moment as well, since you don't have to worry about the others as much.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Chapter boundary is the most popular choice for POV switching. Many writers are able to accomplish a POV chamge when transitioning to a new scene within a chapter, but it requires more care.

    Frank Herbert was able to manage POV changes even within a scene, but most writers cannot pull this off successfully, so I cannot recommend it. But it is possible, in all fairness, but at the risk of confusing the reader. Switching POV within a scene is often called head-hopping, and is generally considered a poor writing choice.
     
  8. Snap228
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    Snap228 Member

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    I can tell you as a reader, I much prefer when it happens between chapters. Maybe because it's easier for the mind to process than just being thrown into it with the next line. But I have seen it done both ways. Ultimately it's up to you, but I would proceed with scene changes with caution, as Cogito said, they do take more care.
     
  9. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Usually, a chapter break is also a scene break. That is why.
     
  10. Enzo03
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    I'd like to refer you to this link: http://writesf.com/08_Lesson_03_Perils.html
    ...but I'm not sure if I really want to. jk.
    The site in general is pretty good for writing tips but this page (and the one you find when you hit "next") address some suggestions on this issue.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you do decide to have a scene/character change within a chapter, be sure to place a single # in the middle of the line between the paragraphs... do not leave the line blank...
     
  12. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    Wouldn't that look... Unprofessional?

    Probably do chapter POV change though.
     
  13. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    No, it is the accepted method for signalling such a break within the chapter to a publisher. It's not how it would appear in the published text.

    I usually use a scene change within a chapter to signal EITHER a change in time or place OR a change of POV. I use a new chapter to signal a combination of changes.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    exactly!... to not do so is what would look unprofessional...

    of course, if you're self-publishing, instead of submitting a ms to a paying publisher, then you'd be styling your actual book and would do so in the way you want it to appear in print, thus with/without symbols would be your choice to make, unless the self-publishing company's rules/regs took precedence...
     
  15. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Which kinda makes the thing a joke, but luckily stuff like that is easy to change before submitting to a publisher. (I think these "industy standards" are going to be at least a small factor in the rise of self-publishing. lol) So if it's already done one way, a simple "replace" can fix it. Yeah, yeah, I know, if you do it that way in the first place, etc. But gosh, seeing that stupid # makes it look stupid so golly, I'm just gonna change it when I am ready to submit it. lol

    I do scene changes when the scene changes. Simple as that. I don't really pin it down to POV or whatnot. If the scene's changed, I indicate it. If the chapter has changed, I indicate that. Tying it to POV is just confuse both me and the readers even more.
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Although there are some who are successful at self publishing, it's mostly a scam that plays upon vanity and impatience. Most self-published authors don't know enough about the realities of the publishing industry to be successful, including the hidden costs.

    It's hardly a revolution in publishing, any more than a Ponzi scheme is a revolution in business. A few people find success despite the odds, a few parasites get filthy rich, but most of the rest are marks.

    Writers should concentrate on the fundamentals of preparing a properly-formatted, quality manuscript. Whether you are self-publishing or self publishing, a well-written story with few spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors is a prerequisite for success. A proper mauscript makes it easier to find errors and make revision nortes, even if you don't submit to a publisher.

    And when you discover how little you really know about publishing, your manuscript is ready to send to the real publishers.

    Chances are you got into writing because you enjoy writing, not because you want to spend all your time on legal matters, typesetting, marketing, cost management, etc.
     
  17. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Amen. Thumbs way up to everything Cogito said.

    Worry about the writing first. Publishing happens later.
     
  18. Show
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    Self-publishing is right now, just in the infancy stages. I do suspect that in the future, it will become a lot bigger and a lot more accessible. Right now, most writers set on publishing are still a slave to the "standards," but I think the industry is going to have to change if it's gonna survive.

    But as for the POV thing, I say do what goes best with the story. These absolutes do little but choke.
     
  19. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hm... I didn't know of that. I wonder if they use this here too...
     
  20. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if by 'here' you mean on the site, no, it's not necessary...

    here, the only reason we leave a blank line when posting excerpts is because indents don't 'take' when posting, so we have to use line breaks where all the indents would be, or else the material would be in a solid block, which is too hard to read and plays havoc with the structure of the piece...
     
  21. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    oh, sorry Mammamaia, I meant here where I live. I don't know if publishers here expect us to follow the american "model" when it comes to these things or if they have their own "rules". I have never found any information about it on any swedish site and I can't seem to find a decent forum that takes up stuff like this. In fact, this is one of the problems I come across with writing when it comes to information in my own language. Every piece of information is always so generic that you hear the same stuff over and over again, but nothing more than the basics. Nothing about the details on things like how you should format your ms before submitting or how you should plan your writing, outlines or not etc etc. If people ever worry about those things no one ever talks about it.
     
  22. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    @ tesoro: They might not...it isn't important to do it in Turkey. It makes it clearer for the typesetter though. They aren't very caught up on things like that here. It's important in the UK and US, though. You'd better check publishers guidelines or ask published authors for Sweden.
     
  23. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks, I'll try and find someone and ask them. Right now I just left a blank space, but I realize it might be missed if the POV-switch takes place where a page happens to end... And there are probably even more reasons I don't know about. The publisher guidelines says very little overall, (just as everything regarding writing), just "preferably easily readable font, size 12 and 1,5 (not double) space between lines and don't put the ms in a binder." that's pretty much it. :/ for those little details I really didn't know where to find them. Maybe I can ask one of the blogging writers I follow, though.
     
  24. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Rule #1: Follow the guidelines set by the publisher. If they conflict with standard manuscript format, follow the publisher's preferences.

    Rule #2: Follow the standard manuscript format, except where Rule #1 takes precedence. I have not heard of any specific national manuscript standards separate from what you call the American model. Naturally, if you find one that applies to the country you will be submitting your manuscripts to, follow it.

    Rule #3: Follow the punctuation, spelling, and grammar rules that apply to the market you are targeting, which is typically also the country or region you are submitting to. Manuscript rules have little to say about these matters, and deal more with fonts and layouts for submission.

    Rule #4: The only times you make an arbitrary choice is where no standard exists. Saying, "I will ignore that standard because it is from the USA," is foolish unless you have another standard at hand that overrides the "US standard."
     
  25. PumpkinLord45
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    PumpkinLord45 New Member

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    The best way is to have a new chapter based around that character.
     

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