1. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Whose Point of View?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Catrin Lewis, Feb 10, 2015.

    I'm nearly home free on my big rewrite of my 1983 novella but I've slammed up against another decision I have to make first.

    Here's the situation: For the second time in less than ten hours my female protagonist is going to voluntarily risk her life for the sake of someone or something other than herself.

    The first time she made the decision to die calmly and rationally, having weighed all the alternatives and possible outcomes. The male protagonist, who is her lover, doesn't like this decision but respects it and is resigned to it.

    She escapes.

    The second time, which is what I have to write now, she puts herself in harm's way precipitously and maybe foolishly, on the spur of the moment, because she's convinced that if she doesn't intervene a whole lot of people will be killed. This time the MP thinks her potential sacrifice is wasteful and unnecessary. Maybe he's right; maybe she is, but I'm setting it up so he can't physically restrain her. He's also unable to follow after her; he can only watch in horror as the antagonist notices her, shoots at her with his handgun, and she goes down.

    Thinking of the scene as starting at the moment the FP breaks cover, whose point of view would make for the most drama, do you think? Hers, as we follow her thought processes and see her negotiating the obstacles (mostly physical) between her and what she needs to do? Or his, as he dies a thousand deaths (cliche. Sorry. :whistle: ) and is taken to the utmost pitch of horror as the fateful shot is fired?

    Or maybe I should write the same scene from both their points of view, with chronological overlap? But I'm trying to decrease my word count . . .
     
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  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wouldn't do the same scene from both POVs, at least not with overlap.

    I think it's usually best to go with the person whose thoughts would be most dramatic. Maybe you could have the female POV while she's making the decision, then switch to the male POV as he helplessly watches? Her thoughts as she's running/fighting probably aren't all that interesting - they'd be mostly factual, I'd assume. But his could be quite dramatic.
     
  3. Megalith
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    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Bayview that switching POV's might be the best for dramatic effect. But if you are picking one over the other than MP's POV would probably be better because his POV ends the scene much more dramatically, as you put it anyway.
     
  4. Void
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    Void Contributing Member

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    I guess it's all about style really, but I tend to prefer taking the point of view of the character that is being killed off. You could always have her die at the end of the chapter, then switch to the PoV of the other character and pick up directly after the shot is fired.
     
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  5. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks, @Megalith and @BayView. The thing I'm working around is the fact that my FP is trying to work her way through a maze of parked cop cars in order to reach the sheriff in charge to give him some important information about that innocent-looking object the antagonist is holding as he stands the cops off. She's small enough to crawl under them without being seen, whereas the MP is not. The MP won't catch sight of her again until she emerges next to the sheriff, whereupon the antagonist will recognize her and blam!

    I'm thinking of introducing a certain amount of fog (the weather kind, not the writing kind) to make things more interesting.
     
  6. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've heard of species where the male and female are different in size by a very large factor - I didn't think that humans were one of them.
     
  7. Void
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    Void Contributing Member

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    It is possible for a woman to be smaller than a man without it being because she is a woman.
     
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  8. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    5'-1", 115 lbs. vs. 6'-4", 185 lbs.
     
  9. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    What has the pov been up until this scene? Have you switched povs in this story before?
     
  10. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Indeed I have been switching between my FP and my MP, depending on which of the two is present and/or which POV will be most effective (IMO) in the particular scene.
     

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