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  1. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Changing pov to another character.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by GingerCoffee, Sep 28, 2015.

    Wow, I've been in one character's head for four years. Near the end of my book I change POVs to the transition character. And I'm writing those chapters. Suddenly it's very odd to be in another character's head.
     
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  2. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is there a question here?

    I change POV a lot so I would like to help if I can. :D

    Since thread seems informal I am going to be informal. How are you doing? I hope well. :)
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Not so much a question. Just sharing an experience. I was so immersed in my protagonist's head. I didn't realize it until I started writing a different character. This one is male so maybe that has something to do with me feeling awkward so far. But I expect that to ease off as I get to know his thoughts better.

    Definitely it's an informal thread. I debated between here and the lounge. I'm doing fine, thank you. :)
     
  4. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah that is true.

    I am scared of the reverse. That I shift heads so often that I will lose track which thought it whose in my mind. Which is extra tricky when you think that a lot of people tend to agree on big issues. lol

    Are you having fun with the new experience?
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I love writing my book, but there are parts of it which are more fun than others. This part is interesting. I expect it to be fun when I get a little better acquainted with my character.
     
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  6. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    You could shorten the thread title to "Changing POV." The rest is just redundant.
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I can only edit titles in the short story contest forum. But your point is valid. :)

    Probably I'd change it to, 'Changing heads when you've been in another one for a long time.'
     
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  8. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Four years is a long time (I'm past two and feel the same way.) Maybe you'll be happy to move on once book 1 is finished?
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I've already been in the protagonist's head in book two while working on the draft. That will be fine. The protagonists in books 1 & 2 have a lot in common except they are from completely different backgrounds and had completely different hurdles. Both have had to overcome problems that stemmed from the different worlds they grew up in.

    It's that transition POV that's caused the jolt. And I hadn't anticipated it because I know him from the protagonist's POV.

    I think it's positive that I feel this way. I actually do understand these characters, it isn't just a story.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  10. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    If you changed POV from first person to third and stuck with the same character, is that not changing POV?
     
  11. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    So what? If you want to argue that a first and third POV with respect to fictional character John are two separate POVs, then you are effectively in two different heads. One is written from John as John sees himself, the other a blend of John's perspective and the narrator's.
     
  12. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    So it is changing characters?

    The narrator is considered a character in a book?

    I have no idea. I am asking questions. I detect hostility but whatever.
     
  13. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I had the same experience. In my first draft Part 1 (about 80% of the book) was in one character's third person POV. In Part 2 I switched to the other's, first person. It was very odd to write and it didn't work so I did something different for the final draft, but it was a fun experience.
     
  14. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I've got one main female POV character, one male who is just slightly behind her in importance, and two others (both male) who provide insight and transition, but are not prime movers in the story. I have to say I've enjoyed 'being' all four! I really do feel their perspectives when I was writing them, and I feel their voices are distinct.

    There will be two new POV secondaries in my sequel, and I'm working on getting their voices straight in my head. I love this part of story-building, to tell the truth!
     
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  15. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    What for you is the greatest difference when writing from each character's POV? What changes the most or how?
     
  16. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I found the personalities just took shape on their own. Maybe it's writing their POV that did the trick.

    One of my secondary POV characters is uneducated, and has an almost autistic persona. He sees things and records things in his head, but takes everything that happens at face value and doesn't question anything much. He just goes with what he sees. People don't notice him much because he keeps to the background and just watches. He's sharp, but in a very peculiar way. My voice for him was matter-of-fact, with an occasional hint of bad grammar and a limited perpective on life in general.

    Another of the secondaries is essentially a practical guy who takes care of all the people around him and loves his life. He's got a sense of humour, and it pervades his POV. If he sees that something needs to happen, he makes it happen. He's a popular person who has self-doubt on occasion, but he never lets it hamstring him, and he enjoys having responsibility thrust upon him. His authority is accepted by others because he knows what he's doing. He prepares thoroughly for whatever is going to happen, and he's difficult to shake from his purpose. He does have a temper, but he controls it well most of the time. Because he's popular and a nice guy, the few times he unleashes it upon the deserving—and he doesn't miss and hit the wall—he gets quickly forgiven. He is most vulnerable and at his most irrational when somebody he loves gets hurt. That brings out the best and worst in him, really. I had a lot of fun with him, at least up till near the end when things go off-track for him. Then it was kind of painful to write from his POV because he was so upset.

    Another of my POV characters is actually my protagonist, who was interesting to write because he's such a buttoned-up, but intensely emotional character. He doesn't like to reveal his feelings for fear his past (which he feels he needs to keep a secret) will be exposed as well. He interacts with new people in his life, and is popular with them, but he keeps his core hidden. This made him interesting to write. The reader is aware of his secret from the start (because of my prologue, shudder, scream) but he does not reveal other important events in his life until halfway through the story. So keeping his viewpoint at arm's length was a challenge for me to write. I had to do more shifting and editing with his POV than with any of the others. Mainly because I had to get the balance right, between keeping too much from the reader and revealing it all too soon. My other POV characters have no personal secrets to keep—but he does.

    My main POV character was also interesting to write. I had a voice problem with her that was entirely self-created. Pretending to tell your novel to a particular person is a great way to free up your writing voice. However, in this instance, I goofed with that little trick. I picked my sister as the willing ears for my story, and wrote easily. However, I forgot that my sister is no longer a child I'm telling stories to—as I did when we were young—but is now an adult, like me. Consequently, the writing voice I chose for this character was childlike ...or rather, the way I presented her part of the story was as if I was telling it to a young person. This jumped out at me during the edits and I had to be careful to change the voice to an adult one without pulling any story threads. I think I managed it, but I won't make that mistake again. Yikes! Write to an audience, by all means, but choose that audience—and their age—carefully!

    I just try my best to get into the heads of my characters. Mainly by thinking about how they see the other characters and what their prime concerns are. It's kind of like acting in a play, I suppose ...although I have never been able to do that!
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
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  17. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    I do a lot of POV jumps precisely because I like the experience of being in so many different heads with so man y divergent ways of looking at things :) But if you've been in one POV the whole time that could be really jarring - are you enjoying it or is it getting harder?
     
  18. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'm getting more of a feel for his voice. But my critique group wasn't so sure about it and thought I might want to either be in his head at least some in earlier chapters or not change. I have to change to this character in this section, some of the things that happen, my main POV character isn't there. It would require an entirely different ending to my story.

    So I'm going to play around with a chapter or two earlier from the other person's POV.
     
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  19. Thornesque
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    Thornesque Contributing Member

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    My book is such a mash of character's perspectives, and I think a lot of that is due to the fact that, originally, there were five main characters. After siphoning down to just the two MCs (yay me, for streamlining the story!), however, I was left with gaps in necessary parts of the story where, previously, one of the original three MCs were responsible for providing the story.

    So I have my two MCs - one male, one female, who both provide the story from a first-person perspective. Then I have a series of other chapters that dot the story, here and there, from the other perspectives, in third-person. They connect the different parts of the story and provide insights into what's happening elsewhere, so that I can skip that whole disgusting thing where a character has to tell another character something that's going on.
     
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  20. Aidan Stern
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    Aidan Stern Active Member

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    I didn't quite get the connection between this question and Aaron DC's quoted post.

    This is how I understand PoV.
    PoV=Point of View, in which there are three categories. First person, second person, and third person.
    Within these three categories are a bunch of PoV subcategories.
    First Person- can be written in the past (as a reflection of or telling of), or present (in the moment thoughts and actions).
    Second Person- like first person
    Third Person- Limited and Omniscient are the two major ones. When using omniscient, the narrator can still focus on certain characters and change PoV.

    Changing PoV can be difficult, especially if you have been in a certain perspective for a long time. But it is also beneficial to change PoV sometimes because it can give the reader new perspectives so they can form a bigger picture of who a person is and what is going on. I often will rewrite the same scene over and over and over again using different perspectives and new diction. It helps me better understand what I'm writing about, and gives me all sides of the situation. I'm currently writing a story where most of it is in one person's PoV, but occasionally, when there is a big, pivotal scene, I go back and write a chapter in the other character's PoV. It's not a long scene, but has enough information to give the reader some more insight to who the second character is.

    The more you write in the new PoV, the easier it will get. Try some writing exercises that will allow you to connect with the character some more. Try writing the scene in a perspective you're familiar with or a third person point of view so you can get the structure, organization, and flow you want, then go back and change the wording to fit the new perspective.

    Hopefully this helps you get into the groove of writing in the new perspective :)
     
  21. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Yes indeed. I'm amazed at how my character feels like a different person. Not sure I'm getting a different voice for him as far as the reader is concerned but he's a different person in my head now.
     
  22. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    POV can be first person, second and third. Agreed.

    But it can also be the POV from Ralph's POV or from Charlie's POV. Which is what Ginger Coffee is describing.

    At least that is my understanding.
     
  23. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    If Ralph is the narrator that would be first person POV, Ralph's POV. If a narrator tells us what's in Ralph's head, that would be third person, telling us Ralph's POV.

    Is that what you are calling different POVs? We can experience a person's POV directly or indirectly from different storytellers, but the POV doesn't change.
     
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's semantics, I think. Sorry guys for all the confusion :\
     
  25. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    You have got to be kidding me.

    This is what you wrote.

    I simply reiterated it.
     

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