1. T.V.Ebanks
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    T.V.Ebanks New Member

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    Multiple Perspectives. Help!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by T.V.Ebanks, May 12, 2010.

    I'm in the process of planning my second book which is a sequel to the one I'm working on now. And for the second book, I want to use the first person perspective of writing but I also want to use third-person/"narrator" perspective and I'm not sure if I'm "allowed" to if I get it published.

    If you can help me, thank you!!
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Why? What do you hope to accomplish with this mix of narrative voices?

    First person is used because of its retrictions to the solitary POV of the main character. Third person is a more flexible perspective that is better in most instances, unlesas your intent is to emphasize a locked point of view by choosing first person.

    So I ask why. And so would any decent submissions editor.
     
  3. Pallas
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    Pallas Contributing Member Contributor

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    Very ambitious planning a second while the first is still uncompleted. The mix sounds good, perhaps to set a plot moving that protagonist will be completely unaware of. It sounds possible with careful writing and thought of course.
     
  4. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    I can't remember reading a book that pulled this off well. Ever.

    Switching between first person perspectives is one thing, but switching between first and third... well it's like when that happens in any other context really - movies, games and whatnot - it's kind of jarring.

    Before you commit, remember that first person details can be given during a third person narrative as long as the link between narrative and character are consistent and not omnipresent. There really shouldn't be a need for you to go that far.
     
  5. T.V.Ebanks
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    T.V.Ebanks New Member

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    For the sequel it portrays a girl who was a supporting role in the first book and it's telling her story from where the first book left off. I want to write it in POV because I want to express her feelings to the reader because her boyfriend dies. I know you can express it also in third person but I think it brings the readers closer to her if they read it in her perspective. And I want to switch the story to a third person perspective also because I want to describe action scenes that will be happening when she isn't around.

    Help me out guys!
    And thanks for the other replies.
     
  6. linden
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    linden Member

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    Perhaps it would help to read some books that use that mix, then decide if you think you can make it work for you.
    Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and Lady Oracle all by Margaret Atwood use a mix, if you can stand to read them (some people really, really dislike her work).
     
  7. hyperspace!
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    hyperspace! Member

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    I've read a story with three different narrators (The Blue Girl by some guy whose name escapes me right now) that was done really well - but they were all first-person.

    Switching from first to third sounds like it would be kinda awkward. It's probably not totally 100% impossible to make it work, but it's probably really really hard. Aburdly hard. Expert Mode.

    It seems kinda like cheating, though - I mean, writing in first-person, but then showing the audience stuff the narrator doesn't know. As Cogito said, that's kind of the point of first person: we only know what the narrator knows, so it's like we're experiencing the story the same way they are.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You can get as close with third person limited as you can with first person. I'd drop the first person. Besides, doing it in first person is more likely to sound like she's throwing a pity party.
     
  9. T.V.Ebanks
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    T.V.Ebanks New Member

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    Response to hyperspace!: I've read a couple military books where there are more than one main character and they all tell stories that link to the main plot. And i don't think it's cheating because I've also read a book in my English class where there's a first person and third person view and the third person character tells a story and does things that the first person doesn't know and doing so it excites the readers to find out if she will ever know what the third person did. That's how I kind of wanna portray but I'm not sure yet.

    Response to Cogito: I want to write it in first person because the first book is written in third person and I want to 'spice up' the format for the readers instead of doing the same thing. And Im not planning to keep switching from POV to Third, only for atleast three scenes which will be in the ending chapters. Try to think of it as a movie where they show a scene of someone doing something that will affect the main character and it switches to a different scene and that main character doesn't know what will happen soon. That's how I vision my scenes in my books.

    Response to linden: I will go online and look up those books. Thanks!
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    "Spicing up the format" is a poor reason for selection a narrative voice. Stick to the choice that works best for the story, and concentrate on writing well instead.
     
  11. T.V.Ebanks
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    T.V.Ebanks New Member

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    Well actually the POV is the best for the sequel because she will be talking about the lost of her boyfriend, meeting a new guy and all other emotional feelings. The sequel steps up with more romance than the first book. That's why I chose POV

    I'm not here if the message went through, POV is the best for the sequel because she talks about the lost of her boyfriend, meeting a new guy and explaining all of her emotions etc.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I do understand what you are trying to do, and I believe it can be done as well if not better using third person.

    You're certainly not obligated to follow, or even listen to, other opinions. But you did ask.
     
  13. T.V.Ebanks
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    T.V.Ebanks New Member

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    I did listen and I'm trying to decide what I should do. But thanks
     
  14. rory
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    rory Contributing Member

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    I'm currently reading the Bartimaeus trilogy (again), by Jonathan Stroud; he goes from one character in 1st person (I said) to other characters in 3rd person (Soandso said). It was very effective for that series, and if it will work the best for yours, go for it. I recommend you check out those books because they are an example of what you aim to do, plus they are just awesome.
     
  15. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    (Just as an aside, "... only for at least" is contradictory. "Only" is limiting - "At Least" is de-limiting.)

    Consider that, if and when your first book sells, part of that success will be in how it is written. Third person. If you change up the format, it can, as already mentioned, be jarring and distracting. Furthermore, it may be so jarring the agent that handled the first book will say, "Why? --- Fix it."

    If you can deliver on the first book, don't try to 'spice it up' for the second. (If it ain't broke ...?)
     
  16. MissBelle
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    MissBelle Member

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    I would not say you definitely can’t do it. I am a movie lover. And it seems like movies can do this. Tell a story and have a narrator but also give the first person point of view in places. I say give it a try. Trying something and having it not work out never hurts anything!
    It could go very bad though. But it could also work out, who knows until you try it.
    :):confused::)
     

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