1. Sam Russell
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    Sam Russell New Member

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    Narrative mode

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Sam Russell, Feb 27, 2015.

    Hello all, I am knew to the board so would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am currently writing my first novel and I am a little worried that I might potentially confuse my readers with my choice of narrative mode. I'm not switching heads during chapters as I know that that would be far too confusing for the reader, I am using one chapter per character but I do have what I think is an unusual style which I can't remember reading in a novel before.

    I have chosen a third person omnipresent form of narration but I have combined this with a first person narration for the same character at times during the chapter to indicate the thoughts within that character's head. Only their thoughts and nothing else. When I make this change in perspective I make a new paragraph and I also use italics to help make it clearer that these are the internal thoughts of the actual character and not that of the third person narrator. My question is whether or not this is possible or would this be too confusing for the reader?
     
  2. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Not to get embroiled in the italics argument again, but I think what you propose might work, if you write it well enough so that readers understand what's going on.
     
  3. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    It's not one of those things that can be answered as a generality. Take a chance and go for it. If it works, your readers will like it. If it doesn't, they won't. You obviously feel it has potential, so don't be afraid to try.
     
  4. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Even in third person omni it is quite possible to portray intimate thoughts or feelings. Suddenly jumping into first person could be disorienting for the reader. However, there is nothing wrong with experimentation.
     
  5. Sam Russell
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    Sam Russell New Member

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    Thanks for your comments. I would also like to point out that after I have written the internal thoughts of the character in a first person perspective, not only would I use italics and make a new paragraph, I would also make it very clear that these were the thoughts of the character by making direct references to that once the perspective had shifted back to a third person omnipresent. I would do this by writing things such as: "....... couldn't understand why he was having these thoughts" or "if only they knew what ......... was really thinking" etc etc. This would help to make it clear and limit the potential confusion for the reader. But will it work? Has anyone read a novel that has used this style? I'm racking my brains but can't think of one! Or perhaps somebody has experimented with this style. My thought are that this could be quite unique and if it works, it'll work well.
     

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