1. Zetta
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    Zetta Member

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    Two different POV's....

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Zetta, Oct 24, 2007.

    I'm considering using a third-person viewpoint (a first for me!) and switching between two characters that are literally on different sides of a war.

    Now this is just my paranoia talking, but would it jar a reader too much to switch back and forth with them? How could I introduce the different characters and their cultures without making my prose seem a little bipolar?

    I'm more comfortable with first-person, but I wanted to try something new to help better my plot... so what do you think?
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Zetta,

    It is generally not a problem with third-person to switch between two characters, even ones on opposite sides.

    Generally a minimum of a section break is needed. Some authors favor chapter breaks. Whatever method, it's fairly simple to orient the reader in the first paragraph or two as to which character's POV is being used.

    Harry Turtledove uses many POV characters in some of his works (some would argue too many), but if you look at his WorldWar Series (can probably get a copy at any local library) Here's a link to information about the books (can even click on initial chapters): Cover Art Gallery:  Worldwar

    Hope this helps.

    Terry
     
  3. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    As long as you keep it to one POV per scene, it really shouldn't be a problem.
     
  4. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    I don't really mind it, as long as it is justified. Switching POV just because you have 2 POVs doesn't help. Either follow a scene-to-scene or chapter-to-chapter sequence, or keep it as needed (which is my technique). For example, in a emotional scene where you want to show rapid response from both sides, you might switch many times. But in a monotonous time period you might not change for chapters. Just my opinion. But there's nothing wrong with changing POVs, in retrospect.
     
  5. Kit
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    Kit Contributing Member Contributor

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    If your story is going to be told in the third person, then it shouldn't really be from any particular point of view because one specific character won't be telling the story. Point of view would usually be used in first person, having the story told by a specific character.

    Unless by POV you meant focussing on one character at a time?

    If so, then this is fine so long as there is some break between them so that the reader can keep track. Generally, a new chapter works the best in my opinion.
     
  6. PrincessGarnet
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    PrincessGarnet Contributing Member

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    I want to do this too, but i have trouble not confusing the reader which i need to work on. Russian writers seem to switch between so many, it's quite interesting although i can see how people don't find some of their books easy reads.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    My thoughts are that the main concern is that the reader MUST know when the transitions takke place. One way would make the switches occur at chapter breaks, and clearly establish where you are as each chapter begins.

    I have seen quite a few novels switch viewpoints in this manner. Sometimes, when matters are converging, the switching will take place even within the chapter. Even then, the key principle is to clearly alert the reader of the transition.
     
  8. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    i like the idea of switching between the pov's form the charectors, the only problem is making sure that the reader knows that the pov has switched. if you can do that then i do not think there wuld be a problem, and people quite often do it when writing in third person. i actually read one where the most part of the novel was wrote in third person follwoing this guy but it kept switchin to the fist person pov fro, the female for a while, which was in italics. then he died and it just followed her, but again kept switching from first to third person. made it an interesting read.
     
  9. Karpi
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    Karpi Member

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    i do this in everything i write
    just when you switch between the people, i use a line of asteriks

    **********************

    Tada! or just use a few then click justify and it looks cool too
     

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