1. Laura Mae.
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    Laura Mae. Member

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    From which perspective should I try and write this?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Laura Mae., May 16, 2011.

    Just looking for some impartial input from you guys, I hope you don't mind :p

    I've come up with an idea that is a culmination of everything I have tried to write before and failed (usually because I have so many ideas screaming at me at once and I get confused). The concept of this story I wish to start planning is about a family who are torn about by disloyalty, extra-marital affairs and lies. It takes place on an AU Earth, its not really historical, just not "modern" in the sense that there are computers and such. I guess it could be seen as fantasy, as there will be a lot of focus on morality, spirituality and possibly religion (so kind of light fantasy, not elves/dragons/vampires etc.)

    Naturally, there will be quite a few characters, but only really a few main characters, and they will be
    1. A man, nephew of the family patriarch
    2. A woman, his new friend and love interest, from another family
    3. The man's ^ younger sister
    4. The woman's ^ sister

    There will be many more characters, these are just the most important ones to the story. What I'm asking is which perspective (or POV) I should try and write this from. I was thinking possibly first person at first, but I'm not quite sure, as I could write it in:
    a. first person (main male character ^)
    b. limited third same as above
    c. third between each of the above 4 characters
    d. first between each of the above

    Does anyone have any suggestions or tips? I'm really grateful for any advice, thank you. :)
     
  2. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    My best bet is to go with third persion limited, since you have many characters that are involved in the story. If you write in first person, it would limit the readers on what the other characters are talking about. If you have fewer characters, say 2 characters, then it would be alright to write first person perspective.

    It also depends on how you write the story too. Most people write differently and can pull off first person perspective with many, many characters without confusing the readers. I'm not going to give you limited advices on what perspective you should use. It's just my opinion. I typically write third person if the characters are everywhere, and the main character can't see the other characters.

    You can try different perspectives to see how they story enfolds, and if you're not happy with that one, switch to another persepctive until your sstory meets your expectations.
     
  3. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would say third person while switching between the characters. From what you've told it seems the story would benefit from having several mains rather than just one.
     
  4. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think anyone can really answer your question - we do not know you, therefore how can we know what will work best for you or your story?

    The best advice I can give is; try writing it in different ways, from different pov and see which one works best. Okay, so you may have to scrap a lot of copy that doesn't fit - but that's the bane of the writer.
     
  5. TheNewGuy
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    TheNewGuy Senior Member

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    I like option C. It is a unique concept not used very often, but George R. R. Martin does it, and so does Joe Abercrombie. It all depends on whose story you want to tell, however. The man's? Or the people in this family?
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Different points of view with the same facts make different stories. If you doubt this, read Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, both by Orson Scott Card. The events of the story are the same for the most part, yet they are completely different stories.

    No one except you can decide which approach is best. Some are harder to successfully accomplish than others, but you have a great deal of latitude, and the choices you make will not only shape your story; they will shape you as a writer.
     
  7. Laura Mae.
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    Laura Mae. Member

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    I totally understand what you mean, I was just looking for some advice or another person's thoughts on this, as I'm not half as experienced as some of the people on here. Sorry that the question is a bit woolly, I'm just wondering how others would approach this kind of thing.
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Truth is, you could do it very effectively with any of those options (or botch it with any of those). As Cogito said, you'll have a different story depending on which one you choose, and therefore as the author I think it is important that you go with your feeling on this.

    As Trilby said, you could try different approaches and see which one you like best in the end. Stick to your vision of the story and don't let answers to this kind of question on an internet forum send you down one path over another.
     
  9. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Keep on asking Qs - it's the only way you'll get any answers.

    Keep writing and the more you write, the more you will see what works best for you and what you are more comfortable with.
     
  10. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    If you use the different POV approach, make sure they're all gripping. Often when I read a multiple-POV book, one of the characters has a gripping storyline, but another's is dead slow and boring, so I'm tempted to skip past it.
     
  11. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    That's a good point. Joe Abercrombie is very good at using multiple POVs and making them all very interesting and engaging to read.
     
  12. Lordcerii
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    Lordcerii New Member

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    My favourite POV is something like a first person with switching between characters. This lets you show all the thoughts of all the characters without confusing too much. So how does this work?

    <Carter>
    "Hi my friend!" I said approaching Jerry.
    He didn't answer, he didn't seem like he noticed me at all.
    "Hello! Can you hear me?" I said loudly.
    <Lisa>
    I saw how Carter tried to get through to Jerry. I asked myself whether I should tell him that Jerry had lost his ability to speak or not. In the end I decided to let him find out on his own.

    Get what I mean? First you state which character is narrating by putting their name in <>. Later you switch character and continue where the last character had stopped.

    This really helps me and I would recommend it for any kind of story. However I think this wouldn't work in a very complex and long story.
     
  13. MatthewR
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    MatthewR Member

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    Entire chapter's dedicated to one character's perspective. It makes it consistent for readers so they don't have to guess who is "I" and who is he or she.

    I like to include other subtle clues when writing from the 1st person, such as a little descriptive segment embedded in the quote to gvie more details.

    "..." she cleared her throat noisily causing me to involuntarily look around the resteraunt. "..."

    Switching character to character mid-conversation would be very confusing or else it would read like a script/play. Assuming you're not writing for broadway or hollywood, it may be best to keep it 3rd person. Or find a way to simplify the understanding for readers of who is talking and who you are writing from the perspective of.
     
  14. Lordcerii
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    Lordcerii New Member

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    Well, it's not like chapters. It's by far smaller and a chapter can consist of multiple characters narrating. And you are not meant to change the character during a conversation unless it's necessary for some reason. This POV requires some practice but can get very interesting to read/write.
    It's all about different opinions and writing styles, some people like that POV some people like another one. I'm using this cause it goes perfectly well with my technique.
     
  15. MatthewR
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    MatthewR Member

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    Again I guess I'm used to journalism rules; "write for 5th graders because that's the highest level the average American can read at".
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Never write down to your readers, or you will only cultivate a fan base of morons.
     
  17. Laura Mae.
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    Laura Mae. Member

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    Do you put them speech tags <Lisa> in the text? :confused: I think this seems a bit confusing really because even with them there it felt like it was the same character talking but just named as a different person.

    Like Twilight? :rolleyes:

    [Don't bash me it's true]
     

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