1. Annihilation
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    Annihilation Active Member

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    Is this organization effective enough?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Annihilation, Dec 23, 2015.

    Right now I'm writing the second part of my three part novel. It has various POV characters with their own journey continuing where the first part left off, but like the first part, I'm planning on cutting between their stories to switch back and forth.

    Short example:
    The soldier is planning an attack and tells about war.
    *****
    The colonel searches for the cult, tells about his love life.
    *****
    The soldier attemps his attack but fails, he studies treason.

    See, it was either switch back and forth or tell ones complete story before going to the next MC until they all come together for the climax of the part.

    Which method is more effective?
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Switching back and forth makes sense, but ideally I'd want there to be some connection between the switches - usually this would be time - like, three days before the battle, the soldier does this. The next scene, also three days before the battle, shows the colonel doing this. Next scene, the morning of the battle, the soldier does this. Then it's during the battle, and the colonel does this. Then after the battle, and the soldier does this.

    If it gets too jumbled, I find it disorienting. Like, three days before the battle, the soldier does this. Then during the battle, the colonel does this. Then, morning of the battle (before the scene we just saw from the colonel's POV), the soldier does this. That jumping around structure generally doesn't work for me.
     
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  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Actually, as long as you orient the reader as to time, place and POV with each switch, you should have no trouble moving from story to story. And I will respectfully disagree with @BayView - you can change time as you move from story to story. In fact, Anne Charnock managed to write three different stories in three different centuries in Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind, while Julia Alvarez moved between two stories in two different centuries in In the Name of Salome (and one story moved forward in time while the other moved backward in time!). I do agree with @BayView that the component stories must be linked in some way. Charnock used the work of a fifteenth century painter as the link while in Alvarez' case, the two stories focused on a mother (a prominent figure in her country's history) and her daughter (struggling with her legacy).
     
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  4. Annihilation
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    Annihilation Active Member

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    Thank you very much, both great answers!
     

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