1. Kita
    Offline

    Kita Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Northern Ireland

    Multiple perspectives.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Kita, Jul 15, 2013.

    I've been toying with the idea of writing a book that is a series of short stories. Well two actually, both similar in a way but slightly different approaches so I'll describe both separately.

    First off is a book following the events of an outbreak. Not a lot of details yet but the basic plot is that a scientist has created a new bioweapon and is ready to show them off but they get loose and attack, infecting the people in the room. Here is where it ends from the scientists point of view and jumps to a security guard of the research base a few minutes after the outbreak and from there it'd move on to different people at various stages.

    The second one is different as it doesn't progress through characters chronologically, instead it shows the same event from different points of view. I have no plot for this but for an example say it was a natural disaster like a series of earthquakes. Person A is shown a few minutes before the disaster then the events leading up to his demise/escape. Then it jumps to Person B who is somewhere else in the affected area and follows a similar sequence to the Person A.

    In each book I intend to write in first person. Does this sound like a viable idea or should it be scrapped?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,602
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    "Poisonwood Bible" comes to mind. I thought multiple POVs were handled very well by Kingslover in that book.
     
  3. killbill
    Offline

    killbill Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    where the mind is without fear...
    Your example plot 'series of natural disasters' from multiple viewpoint will be better suited in 3rd person, my personal opinion of course. Human stories are important but the focus or the big picture should be the disaster and its fallout. The big picture might get lost in all the too close 1st person viewpoints. 3rd will give you the balance of closing in when you want and also not losing sight of the main plot.
     
  4. DeathandGrim
    Offline

    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    540
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    I like the idea of giving the viewpoints of various nameless characters

    It can add some weight to the disaster itself as a character and plot; it reminds me of the first resident evil where you read about the guy who slowly caved to the T-Virus and became the infamous zombie in the closet we're all fond of

    Edit: Also kind of agreeing what KillBill said, having multiple different first person stories can however dilute the focus and may even lose it all together.
     
  5. prismatic
    Offline

    prismatic New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I like your idea of conveying disasters form POVs. I think disasters are not in themselves that important to be conveyed in a story. You must show how people react to it. How people were before it and how was their life changed due to it. It shows the real impact of disasters- not just the physical damage.
     
  6. Kita
    Offline

    Kita Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    I see your point, third person would work better. Thanks!

    That is what I'm hoping to do with the story. The disaster itself isn't overly interesting but how multiple people with different backgrounds and personalities deal with it could be interesting if I can write it well enough.
     
  7. prismatic
    Offline

    prismatic New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    It will be great if you can pull it off. But the challenge is to bring the different tales to sync with each other and bring them to a conclusion. All the best!!!
     
  8. Kita
    Offline

    Kita Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    The challenge adds to the excitement for me! Thanks!
     
  9. killbill
    Offline

    killbill Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    where the mind is without fear...
    I don't think the challenge is in writing multiple POVs and to sync their separate stories into one, that's been done often (take any disaster movies, for example). The challenge is in writing 1st person multiple viewpoints to achieve the same.
     
  10. archerfenris
    Offline

    archerfenris Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    Somewhere I've read that publishers/agents don't like multiple viewpoints as it dilutes the reader's connection with a main character. Anyone else know much about this?
     

Share This Page