1. raian
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    raian New Member

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    Changing from 1st person to 3rd

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by raian, May 29, 2010.

    I'm in a quandry.

    The novel I am currently working on has two distinct plots that end up merging as conflict between the two factions escalates.

    I started my novel in 1st person as I wanted it told from the main characters POV. But now I'm finding that I am really leaning toward the 2nd plot/faction of the book being in 3rd person.

    Would it be within the 'rules' of writing to jump back and forth. I would do it in seperate chapters. So one chapter would be in 1st person from the main character's POV. Next chapter changes to 3rd person and a different faction of the book, different main character.

    Too weird? Or would it be okay?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'd recommend against it. First and third are sufficiently different styles that the switchover is bound to be obvious and distracting.

    I did read a mystery novel (The Neighbor, by Lisa Gardner) not long ago that tried to do this, and I thought it would have worked much better to write the first person chapters in third person limited instead.
     
  3. raian
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    raian New Member

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    I've been thinking that too... changing my 1st person to 3rd, but I like writing in 1st person. My stories move faster when I can attach all the action and plotting to my main characters discoveries.

    I just don't want to have to go back and rewrite it all, changing I's to She's, etc ;) I want to get the darned thing written first.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Third person limited can retain most of the "feel" of first person without its limitations, and transitioning to other 3rd person POVs is much smoother.
     
  5. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Coming from someone who loves first person, this is not a good reason to use it, although it seems that you've already worked that out. In stories with many characters and a lot of action, third person is almost always the best way to go, because inevitably you're going to reach a point where you need to move the focus beyond the limitations of that character, which third person (omniscient) allows easily.
     
  6. Yitz
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    Yitz Member

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    I've seen it done, and I've seen it work.


    That being said, it's probably the hardest route to go, and Cog has an interesting point that 3rd person can really use the strengths of 1st person without being as limited as first person.
     
  7. Humour Whiffet
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    Humour Whiffet Banned

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    You’d need a very good reason to switch because, as has been pointed out, it will be obvious.

    An example of such a good reason can be found in Atonement by Ian McEwan. But I won’t go into detail, because it will ruin the book for people.
     
  8. raian
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    raian New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I've decided not to do it.
    Not sure if I'm going to re-write from 3rd person, or continue ahead in 1st person. Probably the latter :)

    Appreciate ya'll taking the time to respond.
     

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