1. Aprella
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    Aprella Senior Member

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    Point of view

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Aprella, May 9, 2013.

    In the story I am currently writing, there is a lot going on and there are a lot of characters. The story is focused on four characters who end up in another dimension (a bit like Narnia). From those four, we have two 'main' characters who's personal plotline are bigger and more linked to the main plot than of the other two. I am co-writing this story which makes it sometimes very hard to make decision.
    The problem is that there is so much going on on different levels but most of these things are pretty much related to the main plot. To show these, we have opted to work with different point of views. The original plan was to do something George R.R Martin like: a view point per chapter. But I have thought a bit more about it and it's not going to work. Since sometimes we have short things to show and expanding it to a whole chapter will just make it bad writing. I am really a fan of very short chapters. I was thinking about working with breaks. Write one point of view and if you switch to another, have a break in the text. What do you think works the best?

    Another issue is with how many view points we will use. We the two view points of the two 'main' characters. But there is some kind of love triangle going on between three of the four characters and my friend thought it best to use a third view points to bring this into the story. But three view points on four characters seems a bit much to me. When those four end up in some kind of community, there will be more view points (a servant of the king, a warrior, a mage, the antagonist or someone near her). They will all add something to the story, but I'm not pretty sure if it's a good idea.
    To make a long story short: what is the best way to pick how many point of view you will use and who? Are there some handy guidelines or something? i have been thinking about this fir quite a while and find it a very difficult decision.
     
  2. Thornesque
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    Thornesque Contributing Member

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    Trust me when I say that I completely understand what you're talking about. I have two projects that I'm co-writing, one of them with 12 crucial POVs, and one with five crucial POVs and quite a view "non-perspective" chapters (in which we either don't say whose perspective it's from, or it's an omniscient view of something that's happening elsewhere, away from the MCs). And in both of these projects, things have been different. The former was don't with the chapters split, so that multiple characters perspectives were shown in each chapter. The latter has a chapter, each, dedicated to a different character.

    When you have such a large multitude of characters like you say you do, I think the split chapters works best, and would suggest it. As for what perspectives you should use, that's completely up to you. If it's important, for your story, to have a certain character's perspective in a certain chapter, then I would say go with it; add that perspective. However, if there's nothing that can be added from the addition of a perspective, you should definitely scratch it. For example: your love triangle. Does it really help you any to have a third perspective for a love triangle? Wouldn't the two main characters (I'm assuming they're involved in this) be enough? After all, these are the two that we're getting the primary view from, and they're the two that, presumably, your readers are going to be connecting with. If I've been reading a book about Johnny and Susie, and all of the sudden, I see a chapter headlined "Brock," I'm going to likely roll my eyes and say "I don't care about you, Brock." Of course, this is dependent on how long you go before introducing Brock. But still. I wouldn't suggest adding an extra perspective just for the sake of adding some extra "drama" to the love triangle. Leave it out.
     
  3. Aprella
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    Aprella Senior Member

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    Character A and B are the 'main' ones. And the love triangle is A, C and D.
    In short: A becomes very close friends with C, but D falls in love with C and thinks A and C love each other.
    My co-writer thinks it will be necessary to either use C or D's point of view to bring this to the reader while I think that B or perhaps even A can make some observations about it.

    Thanks for your advice!
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Maybe this will help: What's Your Point (of View)?
     
  5. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    Write it by the scene not the chapter.

    Only one view point per scene.

    Then there is no problem.

    .
     
  6. Aprella
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    Aprella Senior Member

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    Thank you for the tips :D And the link is really useful!
     
  7. thabear637
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    thabear637 Member

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    Like others have said its your story so you know how it would work better.

    However if you want to add a third pov strictly to show the love triangle, there are other ways besides adding a pov. All characters interact with each other right? So you could show, through say character A that character C thinks his way through interactions.

    Also I dislike the idea of multiple view points per chapter. I'm sure it can work if you do it right. But I'd think it would be better to leave them be. I know I read a book that tried that and IMO it ruined the book but like I said, it's all on how you write it.
     

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