1. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    ever written the same scene from multiple perspectives?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ettina, Jul 12, 2012.

    I've written one story, and then I decided to take two minor characters and write a story focusing on them over the same time period. Mostly the two plotlines are separate, but they intersect a few times, and their intersections are quite interesting. For one thing, I discovered that the protagonists of the second book really dislike the protagonist of the first book. They don't let this on to him, and I didn't realize this in the first book, but in the second book I realized the first protagonist really disrupted the second protagonists' plans, and just sort of shot down their attempt to compromise. They end up figuring out a workaround, but they're still annoyed. It's an interesting realization, and it could shape future stories in this series.

    Any of you had a similar experience? Do you find writing the same scene from different perspectives gives you a different view on what happened?
     
  2. marcuslam
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    marcuslam Senior Member

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    I've played with this before, but I found it gave me very little benefit. When I write from limited perspective, I always consider the other characters' thoughts anyway, even if they're never mentioned on the page. Never hurts to give it a go, though :).
     
  3. thecoopertempleclause
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    thecoopertempleclause Contributing Member

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    It can be interesting, but I think it requires quadruple the amount of planning to make sure everything remains consistent and intersects perfectly.
     
  4. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    I do this all the time with at least the second MC in whatever I'm writing, but it's never included in the final draft. It's just for my benefit and for my love of writing and getting to know my characters. For me it's fun, I like shaping the story from another POV.
     
  5. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've done this on occasion, and, as you noted, it's interesting to show the differences in perceptions. Seeing the same scene from two or more characters' POV can really add to the reader's understanding of the characters and the dynamics between them.
     
  6. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I did this and found it very interesting. My main story involves my MC's worry about the realization that his wife might divorce him after she takes a job in another country. Later, I wrote a story from his wife's POV of what led up to her decision. Then I wrote a story with his friend as the MC, although most of that story takes place after the events in my main story, although there are a few places they overlap. Right now I'm trying to concentrate on my first story, so I don't really know how well these other two stories stand on their own. I have a lot more confidence in the one with the friend, since it does involve a completely different plot. I don't know if the story I wrote with the wife as the MC is best left just as background, if I'll somehow find a way to incorporate it into my main story, or if it would work as a stand-alone.
     
  7. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    Yes, and that is why I always write trial scenes from different perspectives to find the most suitable one to tell a story.
     
  8. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    I encounter this regularly. Many of my characters are chronic and recurring throughout my writing, while each book deals with a different set of MCs, several of the scenes are recounted. It is the intersection points and character interactions that can really add creative fuel to a plot. Different perspectives are going to make you look at things from various angles, it is the way the mind works.

    One of the biggest crossroads for my characters is at a masqued ball. The head of the High Council confronts one of my MCs and calls her a dreadful name. The head of the High Council ends up flat on his back in the middle of the floor because of his actions. The story goes on from the MC's point of view, but in a later manuscript, I am back in the persona of the High Council head and his point of view from the floor.

    I use the confluence of events not only to establish perspective and character traits, but the pin down the timeline, as well. With a massive series, events and plot threads can easily become tangled and the crossover points like this are good mile markers.

    - Darkkin
     
  9. lasm
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    lasm Member

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    I've been worrying about a similar issue in my novel. It's not exactly the same scene being retold - I don't want to repeat myself - but more a reframing of events. So, for example:

    Person A meets Person B, Events happen, told more or less from A's very limited POV.
    Some excitement, lull in action, B talks about how exactly he came to meet A and tells her some behind-the-scenes information she didn't have access to at the time, some of his perspective on Events.
    Time goes by, blah blah blah...
    Person C shows up, situates Events in big picture and gives alternate interpretation, says what B's been up to since.

    I fear it is boring and info-dumpy. On the other hand, I find the info being dumped interesting. So I'm not sure what to do with it.
     
  10. epicfailpig
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    epicfailpig Member

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    I've attempted it a few times, though I can't say I've done it correctly. Mostly, I've used it to divulge more information to the audience while still keeping other characters from discovering the secrets of the plot too early. It's a great way to practice characterization, especially if the characters themselves are quite different from each other.

    As a bit of a challenge, I tried to write a short story with three different perspectives, one of which was a false narrator. Granted, it came out a bit rough, but it was an interesting concept nonetheless. Has anyone else tried to combine multiple perspectives with a false narrator?
     
  11. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    Yes, I've done this. It's a great way for me to turn the story around in my own head -- it allows me to step outside the shoes I've cast myself in as narrator, which I don't bother to examine closely all too often.
     
  12. SaybleNox
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    SaybleNox Member

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    Happens all the time. I have one main novel I'm working on, and several novellas woven throughout the original piece. some with characters that show up in the main, some that affect the main story but in way no one knew about.
     
  13. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    I've never done it, but there is an entire series of novels that does this. Hugh Cook's Age of Darkness Chronicles. (I often think of it as the W's series - The Wizards and the Warriors, The Wordsmiths and the Warguild - etc, etc.). I read about the first three or four in the series and gave up. Each book is essentially going through the same period of time / epic battle, from the perspectives of different characters. I found it annoying after a while, reliving old battles, but I can't even begin to imagine how much planning must have gone into creating the world and allowing for the intersection of so many characters at different points in each book.

    Cheers, Greg.
     

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