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  1. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Switching Points Of View Smoothly.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by psychotick, Jul 15, 2012.

    Hi,

    I'm in the middle of a rather large fantasy novel which has half a dozen main characters, and I found myself writing a dinner between three of them. From three different points of view. At present I've got them separated by chapters, which seems clumsy to me, not to mention makes for three short chapters, but at least clearly signals that it's a new character each time. I've thought about scrapping the chapters and using breaks instead.

    But my question is this. Is there a better more seemless way to switch POV's while letting the audience know what's happened so that there's no confusion, and at the same time keeping the narritive flowing smoothly?

    Thanks, Greg.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Frank Herbert was able to smoothly switch POVs, even within a scene. For an example, read the gom jabbar scene in Dune. B ut I can't recommend it as an approach, because it is difficult to pull off successfully. His son, carrying on the Dune series, has tried to emulate his father's style and fails miserably with the POV switching.

    I'd recommend sticking with a single POV through the scene, then using post-reactions of the other POVs to show their perspective. If you must replay the scene, use an explicit section or chapter break because of the discontinuity in time.
     
  3. rogue writer
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    rogue writer Member

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    I completelty agree w/ Cog.
     
  4. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    Funny, the first thing that popped into my mind was Herbert's handling of the dinner party scene from Dune, where Tuek and Kynes almost come to blows.

    Definitely read his stuff, he's great at that.
     

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