1. revelier
    Offline

    revelier New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles

    Switching POVs

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by revelier, Sep 19, 2012.

    Okay I hope I'm posting in the right category.

    Anyways, I have question concerning point-of-views. While I know it is common these days for novels to have different character perspectives , I'm curious as to whether I can switch between first person and third person. I was thinking to write from first person for my main female protagonist and then have all other character perspectives be told from third person. I've been trying to think of other instances in where this was done but I'm drawing a blank. I'm worried that this may cause confusion for the reader. Any examples and/or advice would appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. captain kate
    Offline

    captain kate Active Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Cruising through space.
    I'd stick to the third person. One book a read called "Bitter Angels" by C.S Anderson did that, and even with different chapters for each and names of the character's POV, it proved to be a very jarring read. I wouldn't try mixing first and third person POV in a story.

    Either stick with the MC's first person, or go to a third person where both POV's can be explored. When done correctly, third person can give you more insight into a character's thoughts and feelings then first person can do at times.

    Just my .02
     
  3. revelier
    Offline

    revelier New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I see where you're coming from and I appreciate the advice. It's just been thinking that my protagonists personality isn't really conveyed well when I write in third person. I guess that's a fault on my part that I must work on.
     
  4. Pheonix
    Offline

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

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    5,716
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    The Windy City
    I've read books that have shifts between first and third. The Maximum Ride Series by James Patterson uses that in some of the later books. It can totally be done, but realize that it is slightly jarring to readers. I don't see any reason not to though. I've written both, and there are certain things that you just can't do with one that you can with the other. If you think it's vital to the story, go for it!
     
  5. GoldenGhost
    Offline

    GoldenGhost Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I think the most important thing to consider here is the option that will allow your reader the strongest attachment to the story, without separating them at any point a long the journey. I would also state that for one to shift in and out of different writing POVs, they must be exceptionally good with their prose, while having a keen sense of seamless transition.

    A good story is not only written well, but done in such a way the reader can sit down and take the ride without becoming disconnected, no matter how bumpy the ride may become. There's weight within the words that keep them anchored, and that normally comes from a consitent POV/type of POV/ and seamless transitions, that feel organic.
     
  6. I Am Vague
    Offline

    I Am Vague Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Altoona Pennsylvania
    The only way i could imagine this being.. eh, smooth, is if you were to put the first person as like a diary entry. This would it would be like one giant quote I guess. Does this make sense? Have it third person originally, then switch to your character personally reminiscing the event. Just a thought. Hope I helped in some way!
     
  7. captain kate
    Offline

    captain kate Active Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Cruising through space.
    Very few writers now days switch first to third back to first anymore. Yeah, Patterson's done it, but that doesn't make it a good idea. He's sold enough books he could put out a six foot high steaming pile of manure and it'd sell.

    For amateur and beginning writers, switching back and forth like that is a recipe for disaster. Just my .02. That an a dollar might buy you two donuts :)
     
  8. serowden
    Offline

    serowden Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had a manuscript that I lost where I tried doing this, and it worked very well. But I had a reason for doing it that made my story told better.

    It was told in first person by the main, main character so that it would be more personally revealing and intimate, from the scope of that character.

    However, many times the story elaborated and continued with other characters, in which that main character was not around or not the focus of the passage. In these instances, I would use third.

    Chapters were either main character first person chapters, or third person chapters limited to the character they began with. The third person perspectives allowed me to show the world as it really was -- not from the unreliable view of the first person narrator.

    First and third person passages should definitely be separated, but if you have a reason for telling the story this way, the reader can follow it if you make it easy to follow.

    Are you going to be able to make it work, is the question you should ask yourself.
     

Share This Page