1. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Jun 13, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Queens, NY

    POV "Linking" Question

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by EdFromNY, Oct 2, 2012.

    In my current project, I am writing the narrative in the first person. I know that some regulars here are not enamored of first person in general, but in my judgment it's what is best suited for this particular piece. Here's the situation. A (the narrator) and B (the focal character) are adolescents. They have a falling out, and B is deeply hurt. A asks forgiveness and B hesitates. C has a conversation with B that helps to influence her to reconsider. I want to impart to the reader the conversation, but to simply report it (or a narrative of it) in 3rd person seems very awkward to me. I mean, how would A know unless someone told him? I see five possibilities:

    1. Present the conversation in third person and don't worry about it.
    2. Present the conversation in third person, then have B make reference to it in a later scene with A (not recounting it word for word, which would be tedious, just something like "C pointed out to me that...").
    3. Have the conversation take place in A's presence.
    4. Don't present the conversation itself, but have B describe it.
    5. Forget the whole idea of C's influence on B.

    My own thinking is that 2 is probably best, because it gives a plausible reason for A knowing what took place without putting him in the middle of it. 4 would work, I suppose, but my sense is that it would make it seem that B only decided what she did because of C, which is definitely not the case. I really dislike the idea of 3, because it seems to me like it would be demeaning to both A and B. I don't think 5 works because what C tells B is not something that would have occurred to someone at that age, although A and B are both mature for their age (owing to each one's family circumstances). And, as I said, my only concern with 1 is that it leaves the reader wondering how A would have known.

    Any suggestions are very much appreciated.
  2. Pheonix

    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

    Jul 24, 2012
    Likes Received:
    The Windy City
    I think if you went with 1, it would work. If you're writing A in first person, but switch to third for that part I think most readers would understand that it was not from his point of view anymore, and that there was an unnamed narrator telling that part.

    Another thing that you could do, and I know that I'm gonna get a lot of hate for suggesting this, but you could switch the first person perspective to B for the duration of the conversation. Or just make it a close 3rd person to B. When I saw close I mean that the narration would be from her perspective, her thoughts, and her emotions, but written in 3rd.

    Hope this helps!

Share This Page