1. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    Unconsciousness

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ManOrAstroMan, Jul 6, 2016.

    Pretty much at the end of the first act of my story, the POV protagonist, Ren, is rendered unconscious by a nasty injury. I'm a bit stuck as to how to progress from that point. I have a couple of different ideas, and I was hoping for a bit of feedback:
    1) Timeskip. The chapter ends Ren unconscious, and the next chapter opens with him waking up, at home, patched up, and needing to be filled in on what happened while he was out. This is fairly simple and straightforward, but it cuts a couple of things I'd planned out for the other characters.
    2) POV shift. As I have it written now, the chapter ends with Ten unconscious, and the next chapter opens from the POV of Gemma, a secondary protagonist. We actually see the "while you were out" happening "live", we get to see some development of characters other than Ren. (Eg: Gemma coping with the crisis at hand, the introduction of other characters who otherwise wouldn't show up until later, etc).
    3) same as 2, but in 3rd person. This would reinforce that it's definitely not Ren's POV, and save the reader some mental gear-shifting.

    Thoughts? Questions? Suggestions?
     
  2. FireWater
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    FireWater Active Member

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    Is multiple POV part of your story already, or is it otherwise limited to just Ren's POV? If it's only Ren throughout, it would be jarring to have a POV that we never see again, and I'd personally stick with #1. But if other POVs are a part of the story, then 2 or 3 would be interesting.
     
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  3. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    And that's one of the things that had me wondering about it, because up to that point, it is first-person from Ren's POV.
     
  4. Megs33
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    Megs33 Member

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    I agree on the jarring part when POV leaves the primary character for someone else. I've read a self-published work or two that has an oddball switch in character view, and my first impulse is to assume that the shift in viewpoint means something significant. If I'm reading from this other character's point of view now, what random twist or piece of knowledge am I now privy to that will affect how I view what the main character is going through? I think your thoughts on using 3rd person would help with that, though

    A POV switch might be fun to do if you give the reader something to chew on beyond just knowing what happened while Ren was out. Maybe a new perspective on a previous assumption or foreshadowing for a situation that Ren may not get the chance to know about? Ultimately I think it's fine as long as I don't read the passage, sit back, and think "well that was random".

    A thought on the timeskip: I feel like it's a bit stale to do the whole "protagonist wakes up in a hospital bed and gets a grand dialogue of exposition to fill him in" thing. Maybe the other characters got in a fight and don't want to talk about what happened because they're really emotional. Rather than serving up a big whammy of information, maybe consider offering up bites of information to fill in the blanks naturally. That gives you a lot of flexibility to weave it in to an action sequence or a more emotionally stirring confrontation.

    This is coming from a writing newbie though, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt. My assumptions and suggestions may not be as relevant as I think they are. :)
     
  5. IHaveNoName
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    IHaveNoName Active Member

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    I agree with Megs here. If you're going to fill in events "while you were out", it's best to let us experience them first-hand, as it were. When Ren wakes up, Gemma can fill him in with a few lines of dialogue, and you can move on from there.

    As for 1st person/3rd person shift, it's a little odd, but certainly not unheard of. In this case, it would be kind of "Gemma told me this is what happened while I was out", but occurs as it happens, so it would be quite effective.
     
  6. Carly Berg
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    Carly Berg Contributing Member

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    I'd go with number one. That seems the most natural since it's how it really is for you when you pass out. I think a POV shift just over that might just be confusing.
     
  7. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Semi-conscious? Dazed but appearing unconscious and overhearing the story's progression via the dialogue of the people who are patching him up?
     
  8. CrusherBrooks
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    CrusherBrooks Member Supporter

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    I don't suppose your protagonist is in symbiosis with a crystalline life form which reconstructs the events from someone else's memories in a lucid dream constructed out of sand?
    Then I guess timeskipping would be the way to go. Depending on how much time has passed you might not even need too much filling in (what happened? We lost. These three people are dead, we had to give up the bridge) and if you want character developments you could just change one of the characters' demeanor and explain why, later. Or not. To keep internal consistency it might be useful to write out all events that occur while your MC is down without putting it in your actual work.
     

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