1. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    POV Trouble, Please help!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Andrae Smith, Jul 12, 2012.

    Hello I am having some trouble deciding on POV for my book. The only thing about the plot that matters towards this question is that for my story, it is somewhat of an epic, the whole hero's tale, and that the hero and villain are equally important characters, as they develope to their true identities :)

    Anyway, as I understand it, there are 3 POV's that get used in creative writing
    1. 1st person-- which seems to be growing more and more common and popular in the U.S. and writing world, where in the story is told through the eyes of the MC [or, well, the narrator]. It is great for getting close with the character.

    2. 3rd Person Limited-- which is growing just as popular as first person if not, then still moreso than the third and final POV. This is where the story is told in 3rd person but it is limited to the perceptions of the scene's POV [and it seems that in a different scene the author can choose on a new pov if it fits the stories need]. This is also good for getting personal with the characters

    3. 3rd person Omniscient [omni.]-- which seems to be considered outdated and only really popular in the UK. This is when the entire story is given through one single omnicient narrator who who is aware of all things at all times and can give details that some characters simply can't know. The major drawback is that this book can come across as highly impersonal and doesn't establish much of a connection with any character because we don't necessarily follow on character.

    Here is my dilemma: My writing style fits well with 3rd prsn. omni. because I like to be able to pull the reader into the scene and sometimes the characters can't notice these details [if they aren't important I know I must cut them out], but every bit of advice and critique I've seen so far is geared towards 3rd prsn. Lmtd.

    Is it really an issue to write in 3rd omni? I know to avoid info overload and "head-hopping" and I know its good to build a connection with the characters, but isn't there a way to achieve this in 3rd omni? Or must I try and bring things to 3rd lmtd? is a story written in omni really that uninteresting considering the narrator can still withhold info. to keep the readers interested?

    Sorry this is so long, but I really need you to see what I'm saying so I can get the best feedback without the whole lesson on POV. I couldn't find anything on the forums. Thank you in advance for your replies I really need some help. I can't write unless I have a clarity on the voice I will use :p
     
  2. GoldenGhost
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    GoldenGhost Contributing Member

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    I'm pretty partial to third person limited, because I, too, like to detail some of my descriptions, when its necessary, mind you. Though I enjoy bringing my reader into the scene, that doesn't give me carte blanche to bore the reader to death and draw their attention away from my character. The thing I find, more interesting, even is having the description fit what my character actually experiences, because it anchors the POV more. Using omni, makes for much better expose and those tid bits when you need to add details the character cannot experience, but what really is the point? Since the reader is going to be more interested in what the character knows and feels.

    That's my suggestion, as well. I'd use third person limited, because it allows you to anchor a POV in your MC, while also allowing you to switch to your Antagonist, since it seems that character is just as important to the story, the readers are going to want to know about him/her, as well.
     
  3. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Thank you, I think the only reason I'm more inclined to omni, is as I said I can include certain details, but by that I mean say there is a storm brewing on the beach and the MC is going to the beach, I'd be able to mention the weather--if done correctly and not at random-- as a bit of foreshadowing to somethign that will happen at the beach even if the mc doesn't know it. Or say the protagonist and antagonist are locked in literal combat, I can remark on the power of their battle that they would not notice [or I could save that detail for later] Omni just gives more room if done in moderation I think. Otherwise I like the limited view. I like your input, though, Its pretty good :) and I will definitely keep it in mind when I do finaly have everything I need to write [you see I'm learning how to write well, now, too. :)]
     
  4. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    In your note on 3rd person omni you rightly pointed out it " can come across as highly impersonal and doesn't establish much of a connection with any character because we don't necessarily follow on character", and then you said you want to use 3rd person omni "to pull the reader into the scene and sometimes the characters can't notice these details".

    The problem is this, readers are not necessarily pulled into a scene by being privy to everything, in fact, it will bore them, it'll be like knowing the mc will die in the end before you start reading (to take an extreme example). Being deprived of some info is one of the main reasons the readers will keep turning the pages. Sure you can withhold info in 3rd person omni, but then it may come across as insincere trick when you do reveal the info. He is such and such.... after a few chapters, oh! he can also pick locks because the only way he can escape is picking the locks. Sorry about the extreme examples, but they make it easier to explain :)
     
  5. Mark_Archibald
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    Mark_Archibald Active Member

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    First person is by far the most difficult of the three.

    It's not an issue to write in 3rd person omniscient. I'm not seeing how it prevents you from drawing readers into a scene, or making them feel a connection to the character.
     
  6. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Right. Well My main argument for omni is that it gives me a range that limited does not, but Idk which is better. If done well they both can be successful, I thought, but I'm confused because so many writers seem to hate omni, and yet when I ask the question to readers they seem to like both omni and limited for different reasons. I like limited and I like omni but neither of them has everything I need :p
     
  7. AlexLB
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    AlexLB New Member

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    Personally, I would stick with 3rd limited, but vary your scenes so you visit another character's head. Mind you, don't do it too often because the reader won't know where the hell he/she is.
     

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