1. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    Following the Same Timeline Twice

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by tristan.n, Aug 30, 2011.

    Okay, so I'm trying to weave two stories together separately so that they both start out differently but the characters end up interacting with each other, but the stories end differently.

    To clarify, the first one is about a girl who was a failed genetic engineering experiment. It's in first person POV, and she goes on an adventure to team up with a group called the Resistance that strives to stop a tyrant from invading their country, yadda yadda yadda.

    The second one is going to have two main characters, a boy and a girl, and so it's in third person. The girl is the tyrant's fiancee, but later on she finds out what a horrible person the tyrant really is. The boy is one of the tyrant's personal servants, and he was the one who was telling the tyrant how to make the girl fall head-over-heels in the first place. The two end up escaping from the tyrant somehow, and they're in the engineered girl's territory when the fiancee is recognized and they're both stopped by the Resistance.

    Later on they all realize that they want the same thing, so they team up and work together and save the world. The end. Oh yeah, and there will also be two romantic plots involved, but one happens early on in one story and the other comes almost at the end of the other story.

    Okay so now my question is this: How could I avoid making the two stories have the exact same events happen from the time that they meet on? I know each set of characters has their problems to work out, but wouldn't it get boring to read the same thing twice in different books?
     
  2. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not quite sure whether you're speaking of different stories within one book or different stories across two books but..

    A very simple solution would be dispense with the two strands - the one first person and the other third person - when your three characters are together (perhaps writing this section in the third person) and then to pick them up again when the three have split.
     
  3. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    This.

    Nick Hornby, in About a Boy handled this well. The chapters alternated between the first person point of view of Marcus (the boy) and Will (some guy). Mostly, Marcus would continue on from Will's narration, or Will would continue on from Marcus's, and the book would go on. There was only a few overlapping chapters, and it only overlapped for maybe a quarter of the chapter.

    What I'd say to you, though, is to avoid switching between first and third person. If you've got both styles in the one piece, it'll very likely emphasise which is your weaker style. The weaker chapters, written in that weaker style, will very likely be sluggish for the reader.

    But that's up to you, I guess. To recap: don't have the same events. When the characters are together, alternate the chapters but keep the singular flow of narration. If you overlap, only overlap slightly.
     
  4. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    Sorry, I meant in two separate stories, not one. My ideas are a little disorganized at the moment. What I'd like to achieve is something like Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow. They both took place during the same time frame and in the same place for the last half of the books, but they were completely different from each other.
     
  5. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I don't know of either of those, so the only piece of advice I can give you is to divvy up the action between the two, I guess.
     

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