1. afinemess
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    afinemess Active Member

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    Formatting for multi/characters

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by afinemess, Jan 23, 2015.

    In my new novel, I am alternating the perspective between two people. Kind of similar to books such as Gone Girl (just as an example on form). I read that on a kindle, so I don't know how it was formatted in terms of writing in general.
    So my question: In Chapter 1, it switches one time. Should I start on a new page when switching, or can I put a couple of spaces and the other characters name on the right margin to show the switch? I've had two people read through the first few chapters, and they said it's fine this way and aren't confused, but I'd rather make sure I'm formatting correctly now, than when I'm finished and having to go back through and change it all.

    Thank you for any advice!
     
  2. afinemess
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    afinemess Active Member

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    To clarify, I don't want to start a new chapter each time, I feel like that would make it clunky and it isn't necessary to story development to make a new chapter each switch.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The simple answer is that you should do whatever is the least confusing. A lot of authors opt for starting a new chapter, and I'm not sure why you find that clunky. If it works, it works.

    I don't like the idea of having the character's name in the right margin. To me, that's clunky. Also, starting a new page is sort of like starting a new chapter, isn't it?
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    A new chapter or a scene break (usually shown or indicated by spacing before the next paragraph begins) works for POV character switches.

    Often you have to clue the reader in on the POV being used. It's best to do this within the context of the story, if possible.

    A recent example where the character switching for a new chapter was identified by an animal/symbol for the 7th novel in the Iron Druid Chronicles (Shattered) where there were now 3 POV characters, where initially in the series there was only one.

    Whatever work... and seems to flow for the reader is best.
     

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