1. King Arthur
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    King Arthur Banned

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    Could this work?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by King Arthur, Mar 5, 2016.

    I'm 40K words into my novel, and had an idea about another story set in France at the start and throughout the revolution, following two POV's. It would alternate between a royalist and a revolutionary, seeing both sides untainted by bias. Could this work? What novels have done this?
     
  2. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm also working on a story with two POV characters. I can't think of any prior examples, but I'm hoping this works.

    The POVs alternate from one chapter to the next, since they are split up for most of the narrative.
     
  3. LostThePlot
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    It can work. That's not like a ludicrous idea on the face of it. However... You seem to have accidentally have come across the story of Les Miserable. That's not to say there's not more to write about set in the French Revolution, that's not to say I think you're trying to rip it off. The revolution is definitely an interesting setting, almost an alt-history set in the real world (seriously, they renamed their months after the weather in that month as well as had like three revolutions within a few years) and pretty much any kind of story set against that backdrop could be something really interesting. But if you do write it then for better or for worse you are going to get compared to Les Miserable which for all it's flaws (it's LONG) it's still widely seen as one of the better novels ever written and that's a hard act to follow.

    I know it sucks, I know it's not something that an unknown writer wants to care about but certain books are just too influential to not loom over everything else written in that same setting. If you think you have a really strong story that you really want to tell then go ahead but you need to have a really strong idea that will really shine.
     
  4. King Arthur
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    King Arthur Banned

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    Les Mis is not the French revolution...
     
  5. King Arthur
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    King Arthur Banned

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    It was set almost 40 years after during the June Rebellion. Different society, different reasons, different political weapons, even different technology.
     
  6. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    The only reason it's not set in the revolution itself is because Hugo wanted to point out that the angry young men just end up dead in the end. It's place in time slightly after the end of the revolutionary republic is still drawing on the exact same worries about revolutionary sentiment, authority and downtrodden individuals swept up in greater movements that care little about their lives.

    Like I said; Les Mis is so big and so influential that just writing about French revolutionaries that's going to be where everyone goes.

    I guarantee to you that the vast majority of people either do not know or do not care that Les Mis is set after the Bourbon restoration. It's in France, it's about wannabe revolutionaries and is replete with revolutionary sentiment. This is the book that every revolutionary book will be compared to.

    I'm not saying you can't write a good book set in that period; I'm just saying that if it's about the politics of revolution even tangentially then you are going to be up against some extremely stiff competition. The first thing most people will say when you pitch to them will be 'So it's like Les Mis?'. Unless you deliberately want to attract that comparison then I'd stay well away.
     
  7. King Arthur
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    King Arthur Banned

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    No. He set it in 1832 since it was a conpletely different revolution, and one he was alive when it broke out. In fact he was at the barricades, observing the shootout.
     

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