1. Sky
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    Sky New Member

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    Switching between point of views in the third person

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Sky, Jan 1, 2013.

    I've been trying to start writing again and because I generally prefer to write in third person single POV, I started off writing like this. Now I'm considering also including the POV of my other main character.

    I thought perhaps I could change from one character's view to the other's every couple of pages by marking the end of one view, through the use of a series of asterisks (i.e. "*****"), before I begin the next.

    Does that make sense or will it be too confusing? I'm not really sure, so I'd appreciate your views.

    Thanks
     
  2. Jon M
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    Jon M Member

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    You're just talking about an alternating Third Limited. Been done before, and it's not really confusing. Alternately, you could just keep an omniscient POV and focus on any character you'd like.
     
  3. Ian J.
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    Ian J. Active Member

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    To be changing major POV every couple of pages might put off some readers. That said, as long as it's clear whose POV you're in at any one time, then there's probably no need for a separator which would normally be used for a major scene change, if at all.
     
  4. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    It doesn't need to be any more than a scene change, as long as you're clear about who you're following at any one time. Some writers don't even bother with that, but you've got to be really good to pull that off well so I wouldn't recommend it as an approach.

    If you want something a bit more dramatic, one technique is to split it into chapters, headed with the name of the POV character. I think that's how George R R Martin navigates his bazillions of characters and viewpoints in the Song of Ice and Fire series.
     
  5. TimHarris
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    TimHarris Senior Member

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    That is exactly how, and it works surprisingly well. At no point throughout the books ( Read the first two ) is it unclear whose character we are focusing on, yet he leaves clues as to what might be going on elsewhere, linking the stories together nicely.
     
  6. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    The Jeff Shaara books (though it's historical, not fantasy) does that same thing as well. The chapter headings are the names of the individual major characters so the readers know exactly who they're about to read. You could also start the first paragraph with the POV character's names like: "Bob did xyz", "Jill looked at xyz", "Henry charged at xyz".
     

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