1. Jon Deavers
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    Jon Deavers Member

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    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Jon Deavers, Dec 6, 2012.

    New guy here...

    I'm outlining my scenes for a novel and I'm trying to keep in mind POV and who will actually be present in those scenes. Trying not to get crazy with it so I don't want to go over 4 total POV's for the story. Trying to actually get it down to 3, but that's not why I'm posting.

    In light of the Song of Ice and Fire series' popularity, is it considered acceptable now to name the POV character as a chapter heading when you want to switch voices like Martin does?

    This would simplify my storytelling but I also don't want to look like I'm emulating GRR Martin.

    Any feedback or examples I could evaluate other the than Ice and Fire books (I know, I'm terribly under-read) would be very welcome.

    Thanks!
     
  2. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    To begin with, being underread is not the best foundation for a writer. I would suggest that you address that before worrying about POV issues.

    As for your specific question, I don't see anything explicitly wrong with it. In "Dialogues With the Devil", Taylor Caldwell let the reader know the POV by the salutation of each letter (the book begins with a letter from Satan to God). OTOH, there are better ways to indicate POV in a chapter. In his Jack Ryan novels ("Hunt For Red October", etc), Tom Clancy changes POVs incessantly, but you never lose track because of how he does it.
     
  3. Jon Deavers
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    Jon Deavers Member

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    Thanks Ed!

    I've never read Caldwell but now she's in my queue and it's been years since I read a Clancy novel. I think I'll revisit him and glean some technique.

    I've been thinking it over and I believe the Martin approach is a bit heavy handed for what I'm trying to do. He's juggling umpteen POV's and I have three to four so I think it's really going to be more important to make the narrative voice distinctive than to worry about broadcasting my intentions to the reader. I would imagine if they can't tell the difference then I have bigger problems to deal with.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    using names for chapters/parts of a book is done by many authors besides martin... especially when you have only 3-4 characters... it could be too confusing for more than that, imo...
     
  5. Cynglen
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    Cynglen Senior Member

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    Wilkie Collins used multiple points of view for "The Woman in White" (considered one of the first true mystery novels and full of complicated characters), and he just stated in the text "This person is the narrator now." I found it kind of confusing without the definite break, so making a chapter title (or at least some header) with the narrating person's name in it sounds good to me.
     

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