1. semolinaro
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    semolinaro New Member

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    Is multiple POV the right choice for a novice writer?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by semolinaro, Jan 13, 2016.

    While I've been writing stories since the day I was able to think, I still consider myself to be a novice. I have many unfinished works, and while I obsess over writing on a daily basis, I have never finished a novel nor have I even tried at publishing. Recently, I've been considering a third person unlimited take for my current work 'The Hour of Eden'. At first, I thought it would be too much to take on, but now that I reflect, it might be the right thing to do.

    The plot is centered around an alternate historical timeline where the last remnants of humanity struggle to survive against mysterious monsters that eat human hearts. None of the characters are black and white, there's no good and evil, for each character is driven by a goal that centers around basic human needs. It's up to the reader to decide who the villain really is. As well, the story's foundation is built on events that happened in the past, which is why I feel it's important to explore the minds of other characters so these things make sense.

    But pulling this off well is hard, and I'm concerned about it. It's easy to do, but hard to do right, and I'm wondering if I should explore some other mediums of writing before I try something like this. Thoughts?
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why do you have so many unfinished projects? What has gotten in the way of you completing them?

    If the answer is anything like "I felt overwhelmed" or "I got bogged down" then I'd recommend against multiple POVs. It'd probably be simpler for you to follow one person's story rather than trying to follow a lot of them...
     
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  3. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    I can understand your hesitancy. It's a big, complex project and even if you have a very clear plan for the plot doing this kind of stuff justice is more than just writing.

    To be frank; if you've been having trouble seeing a project through to completion then I wouldn't start with something like this. It's the kind of stuff that it's easy to get frustrated with and feel like you're getting nowhere as you have to trash scenes and try again to express what you want. It's just part of the process and that's how you get good material but only if your really committed to getting it down.

    I think you'll do better working through something simpler and proving to yourself that you can get a project finished and feeling more confident in you abilities as a writer. I think getting your feet under you and feeling happy you can write good characters and good story first will give you the confidence to take on a more ambitious project.
     
  4. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I find dual-perspective easier than single. Both of my novels started out as single-perspective (third limited) and I realised they were better stories if I told them from two perspectives. As a nice bonus, I enjoyed the writing more and so I found it easier. Each character's narrative 'voice' is subtly different, even though it's in third person, so it's a nice creative challenge and it keeps the project fresh. Plus, I find it really fun to show how events can be tainted by bias and perspective, and I think it's fun for the reader too (as long as it's clear, or at least strongly hinted, what the truth is). In your genre, where you've created a whole world, I think it would be even more fun.

    I say try it. You may find, like me, that it makes everything easier.
     
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  5. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    Oh it certainly sounds like an interesting project to work on and when you find something really engaging then it'll feel easy. But I think you have to walk before you can run. The more complex a project the more stuff to keep in the air and the more chance to fall in to those classic pitfalls that stop you seeing it through. You need to keep straight three sets of internal consistency that fit together properly, keep the voices firmly differentiated, keep jumping around instead of just telling your story - all stuff that can make it hard to stay motivated.

    When you are confident in your writing and ability see things through then absolutely, just write whatever comes to you. But when you aren't then taking on something that's more 'straight', one story line you stay with all the time through, that's something you need to achieve first. Still something engaging to write of course, but something that is more approachable as a writer. Just having fewer balls in the will help keep you on track.
     
  6. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    For me, that's not true, but obviously we all have different challenges as writers. It just depends what kind the OP is, and until she tries both she won't know which kind she is. Either way, she'll learn from it :)
     
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  7. Electralight
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    Electralight Member

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    I think that anything is possible if you are equally passionate and serious about it. If you feel that you want to try, then do it. Even if you don't finish, you will have tried. I would also sort through all of your old works and decide which you want to finish and which you want to discard.
     

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