1. Merlin
    Offline

    Merlin Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    1

    Two Characters, Same Plot

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Merlin, Jun 22, 2011.

    Ok, here's the deal, I'm currently 4.5k words into my first novel, and have a few questions for the folks at Writing Forums.org.

    Firstly, the story focuses on two main characters, who have the names of Jacoby Smith and Dominic Jones. They both start off in completly different places, with their own respective 'group', and follow different events that draw them to a final showdown at the end of the book, which will either be the climatic finale, or leave it open for a new series depending on how I'm feeling.

    And the first question of the hour is, how often do you think you can go before a point-of-view change happens? I'm leaning towards having one point of view change in a 'chapter', which consists of something like this:

    Would you be okay with this, or would the constant point of view changes get annyoying for you? I'm thinking something similar to Gav Thorpe's layout for Angels of Darkness and The Crown of the Blood, if anyone's heard of them.

    Also, another question, that isn't entirley releated to this one, how does this blurb sound to you? Would it make you buy it?

    ALIEN DUSK​


    The Plague has come to Planet Earth, a disease which has driven humankind to its knees and has infected everybody seventeen and over worldwide.

    However, it has not just infected them - the Plague has turned all of the adults into monsters, called the Plagueborn. Deadly, powerful creatures that stalk the night, preying on the children left behind.

    That was two years ago. Now, the human race is starting to recover, with very few people left alive. But little do they realise that the worse is still to come, and soon - the very heavens themselves will burn, heralding the arrival of a new race, the first alien lifeforms that the human race has ever encountered.

    They have come at dusk.

    There will be no dawn.​
     
  2. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Do you mean one PoV lasts for a chapter, then a new PoV in the next chapter? That's pretty conventional and so shouldn't be an issue. I'd get rid of that Chapter 1, though.
     
  3. Merlin
    Offline

    Merlin Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    1
    No, I mean something like this.

    Chapter One

    -I-

    Jacoby's Point of View

    -II-

    Dom's PoV

    -III-

    Dom's PoV

    -IV-

    Dom's POV

    Chapter Two


    -I-

    Dom's PoV

    -II-

    Jacoby's PoV

    -III-

    Dom's PoV

    Chapter Three

    etc, but in random orders. Would anybody be able to deal with the constant PoV changing, or would it get too annoying?
     
  4. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    If you begin in first person, you should probably remain in first person throughout, which means breaking the laws of 'realism' to talk about another character in third person (beyond what the narrator can actually see). It isn't unheard of, and can be effectively done, but some readers will object. Or, if you deliver both points of view in first person, you're going to need some kind of structural break, usually a chapter ending. Since chapter numbers are arbitrary anyway, why not just create a new chapter every time you change POV (assuming you are talking about both characters in first person).
     
  5. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    There are two things I think you need for PoV changes:
    1. A clear indication that a PoV change has taken place; and
    2. A clear indication of what the new PoV is.

    Making the changes at a clear division in the text is part of the first of those things, but it doesn't have to be a chapter break. For the second of those things there are a number of possible devices. In The Time Traveler's Wife they're labelled (but there's also a complicated time-line to indicate). In If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things they are distinguished typographically. More often they're distinguished just by the way the narrators sound different, but it has to be a clear difference; If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things does that too (so I disagree, for instance, with not being able to switch between 1st and 3rd person PoV; I think that could be an effective way of distinguishing the voices and is only likely to be a problem for people who insist on only reading 1st or 3rd person novels.)
     
  6. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Do it however you want. I"ve done mutliple POVs where there's about three scene breaks per chapter, and each scene break is a POV shift. So I had three POV characters and they were all in each chapter. But you can do it however you want. Just make sure to leave a blank line with a "###" in the middle for each scene break if it's not at a new chapter.
     

Share This Page