1. Mike Kobernus
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    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

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    General POV question

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Mike Kobernus, Mar 17, 2014.

    Hello all.

    In my current WIP, I have 2 timelines and 2 types of POV.

    The current present, which is always seen from 3rd person. Usually the main character,
    And flashbacks, which are always seen in first person, from one character's perspective.

    My question is this.

    Would you mix perspectives in this way?

    I chose to do this so that the flashbacks would have a sense of immediacy about them. I wanted to stress the reality of that world. So first person provides a more 'happening now' regardless of the fact that it is a hundred years ago.

    Does anyone mix perspectives in this way?

    Thanks..
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i might, if the story called for it... and i'm sure you'll find successful novelists who have... if something can be done, you can be sure it's been done...

    the hard part is doing it well enough that it works...
     
  3. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    I remember trying to do that with my first attempt at a novel years ago, it's a lot of fun and can help translate how the character feels and their motivations. I remember getting the idea from a novel (series of novels?) I'd read earlier although in that case it was 1st person perspective for many characters, not just one.
     
  4. David K. Thomasson
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    David K. Thomasson Contributing Member

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    I wouldn't.
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Hemingway mixed 1st and 3rd person in To Have and Have Not. Michener did it in The Novel. Neither did it for purpose of giving flashbacks "a sense of immediacy", and in fact I don't think that using 1st person does that. Elizabeth Kostova does it in The Swan Thieves, not to give the flashbacks more immediacy but to account for the fact that none of the three 1st person characters fully understand the person they are discussing (a version of the unreliable narrator). In fact, the most distant flashbacks are in 3rd person, present tense.
     
  6. Mike Kobernus
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    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

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    So, in your opinion, why did Hemingway mix them?
     
  7. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Harry Morgan made consistently bad choices and didn't learn from them, which was ultimately his undoing. The first person portrayal allows the reader to see Morgan's blind spot without Hemingway ever mentioning it except in Morgan's own voice. Even in 3rd limited, he'd have needed to do it via narration or by having Morgan talk to himself, neither of which would have been as effective.
     
  8. HallowMan
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    HallowMan Banned

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    As I was rewatching POV earlier, a strange thought came to mind: isn't there the tiniest possibility that Dr. Carter could be pregnant?

    Mathematically, it works out: they were celebrating their anniversary a few weeks before the Goa'uld came (AFAIK) and many women do not show until well past then. Assuming that all the reality-shifting (not to mention being shot at many times) miraculously did not cause her to miscarry, wouldn't this be a fitting end to her romance in her own reality?

    Forgive me if this sounds senseless, but I thought it would be a perfect tribute since she had already lost her husband.

    What do you think?
     

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