1. Doctor Tao
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    Doctor Tao Member

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    Character perspective...

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Doctor Tao, Dec 14, 2010.

    I am not sure whether or not this is the right title for this subject, but it is the one I a going with.

    Over the years, I have spent a great deal of time developing characters, and I feel it is one of the cornerstones of my writing. I love creating characters. I love killing them off. I love complicating their lives and then throwing them a bone. In short character development hits me in that special spot.

    Lately I have been working on a writing style that introduces (and develops) the character through an almost POV interaction with the world. An example:

    "He slowly raised his head making eye contact with his reflective self. What he saw made him want to sigh a third time, but figured that two sighs in the morning were more than enough. Staring back at him was a man in his mid-thirties, green eyes haggard and swollen, his matted red hair easily the envy of an Abercrombie and Fitch model."

    I really like this perspective, because it allows me to remain 3rd person omnicient, but tell a story almost as though it were in first person. I feel it allows for more tension and internal conflict, while allowing me to move story elements forward without the MC having to "witness" everything.

    Have any of you tried this style? Have you seen it done effectively? Ineffectively? Curious to hear your thoughts.
     
  2. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    I'm trying this style at the moment and I enjoy writing it from this perspective a lot. If done correctly, it will really show personality of your character and the differences in between them depending on the tone, words used in their POV.
     
  3. xxkozxx
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    xxkozxx Active Member

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    I think there is a fine mix between single POV writing and First person POV writing. I've seen it done both poorly and well. I think the general rule is to write it in whatever tone best represents what you are trying to get across to the reader.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have seen it done best example is probably Tom Sawyer sure it is written like that.

    I tried it for my second book - considering it a way to change the tone of the writing, for me there were just a couple of scenes where it didn't work well - and for me they were enough to go back to first person. Instead I told half the book from one POV first person and other from a different one - at present the final chapter is written like this but unsure I will keep it.
     
  5. rainy
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    rainy Senior Member

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    Your example strikes more as a third-person limited. What about your chosen style remains omniscient?
     
  6. write_star
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    write_star Member

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    I totally agree. I also don't think that you should go with whatever is popular, but with whatever you can write, well. I was very impressed with your point of view, so I think you should stick with it. I try and write third person, because it's what I do best.
     
  7. Doctor Tao
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    Doctor Tao Member

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    Everyone, thanks for your input.

    rainy - You are absolutely right that my example is third person limited. This is generally the case when my MC is not interacting with others (no reason to be omniscient). If there are other characters present my POV changes to a sort of limited / omniscient. Things still develop through the interaction of my MC, but the other characters are not treated as external.

    Hope this makes sense - I don't want to post a long example here, but at some point in the future I will post a story in the review room using this style.
     
  8. Newfable
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    Newfable Senior Member

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    I really dig that style of character introduction, development. Gives a 3rd person perspective on the character, while slightly alluding to what the character thinks with himself/herself, juxtaposed against the setting's sociological trends.

    Beautiful.
     
  9. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    I use it all the time unless I'm writing first person which I haven't done in awhile.

    I don't like reading, or writing, simple descriptions of activities, that reminds me of 19th century writing. I enjoy knowing what the character is thinking about while he's doing whatever. Firstly, it's realistic because I'm thinking about things while I'd doing XYZ, and it exposes character, again, in a realistic way.
     
  10. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    I use that style all that time. I don't know if there's a proper name for it, so I call it "3rd person subjective".

    Although I go further, and not only describe what the character is thinking; I try to state the characters thoughts as if they were facts:

     

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