1. Flu
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    Flu New Member

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    Too many characters at once? too busy?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Flu, Dec 29, 2008.

    I've been working on a fantasy story for a while now, and I'm looking for advice.

    It starts with a destruction of a land consisting of 3 cities. In each city, there are 1 to 2 characters each, and each tells their version of what happened during the "apocalypse" of that land. (that's five chars in all) but that also means a lot of switching from POVs (3) as this event happens.

    Each character is unique in their own way and since the cities are drasically different, it means they are as well. Whats more, since the cities are at war with each other, they are all enemies. They all survive the attack, and end up together, realising a greater enemy.

    I feel that all of the different POVs contribute to the main storyline in the longrun and help develop the characters, but is it too much?

    anyone have any thoughts? any help is appreciated =)
     
  2. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's nothing inherently wrong with using many perspective charatcers. Plenty of fantasy authors have done it. It depends on the execution of course, whether the reader will like it or not. There's really not much more I can say without specifics.
     
  3. Flu
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    Flu New Member

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    Do I need to put in more details about the situation? cause it does get kind of complex
     
  4. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not for me. I get the gist. In this case, details aren't all that useful. It's just something you'll have to work out. I can't really help with execution, which is what matters here. That's all up to the writer.
     
  5. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think it's too many. I think you if you can manage them properly, that multiple POVs are not bad. I myself have three different POVs in my novel. I think that 5 characters sharing 3 different POV is not overkill at all.
     
  6. Fatorc
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    Fatorc New Member

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    Kevin J Andersons epic sci-fi, Saga of the Seven Suns has loads of characters yet each chapter is devoted to just one of them as they meet, get blasted, taken over by aliens, etc.

    You could always break it up that way.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There is no absolute answer. Each character should serve a purpose in the story, and you need to be able to write well from each character's vantage point. That also means adapting your narrative voice for each character. Multiple POV characters require more skill as a writer than a single POV.
     
  8. goldhawk
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    goldhawk Senior Member

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    George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy story "A Song of Ice and Fire" switches the POV character with each chapter. Give its popularity, I would say it can work with some care.
     
  9. Flu
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    Flu New Member

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    Thank you!+follow up question

    I appreciate everyone's thoughts! I have another question though;

    since this story is intended to be a video game, would it make it more confusing in the game sense? or does that make a difference?
    (or is this the right thread for writing video games and sorts...)
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's not really the best SITE for discussing video game design. You may get some opinions simply because members have interests that extend beyond those of this site, but video game design is really outside the focus of this site.

    You'd be better off asking this on a site dedicated to game development.
     
  11. Flu
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    Flu New Member

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    thanks for the info
     
  12. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    You can never have "too many"



    It depends on your ability to pull it off. As I get deeper into my Novel, I'm opening up the subplots, and letting them flow so that even though I will resolve the issue in the one story, there are so many other items to keep going with...

    So, let your characters go, let them grow, let them have their plots/subplots. The more adversity you give them, the happier they will be. For like in real life, with no challenge, they will die from boredom.
     
  13. Flu
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    Flu New Member

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    wow :) thank you a lot captain kate
     

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