1. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Would you write it differently?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Melzaar the Almighty, Aug 29, 2010.

    I was just looking at a conversation I wrote between two characters, and wondered: would I have written it differently if the other character was narrating?

    I was really just suddenly aware of how I manipulated their conversation for the sake of the plot. As it was an emotional point that they were arguing about, rather than a concrete plot thing, I basically tooled the conversation to give the narrator a big kick in the teeth. From his rival's point of view the emotional impact would be minimal though, even though she shares exactly the same backstory as him.

    Do you ever look at your conversations and think, "wow, this would be such a different scene if I wrote it from the other point of view"?

    And I don't mean in a way, like... I heard the next Twilight book is just the original from Edward's POV but nothing changed in what's said out loud (dear lord don't get me started). I mean like, would you radically change the structure of a scene and the things that were said if you re-drafted from an alternate viewpoint? Any scene, any story. :p How much do you influence what your characters do versus just letting the story flow how they dictate, and would it happen differently even if you nominally hand over control to the characters during writing just based on who was controlling?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yes. On occasion, I've wriitten entire scenes, only to realize the scene really should have been from another character's point of view.

    The dialogue itself may not change much as a result, although when I enter the scene with another POV, I may decide to change the content of the scene as well - including the dialogue content.

    After all, changing a scene to make it more effective is the entire point of changing the POV for the scene.
     
  3. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes. A scene is all about perspective. What the writer focus on and what the writers left unsaid.

    Even the exactly the same external dialogue everything becomes vastly different depending on the perspective. Of course a scene written from one perfective would need to be different to be meaningful from that perspective.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, I started out my first book telling it from ten different POV until I decided on the best one.

    My second I started off telling it from the same POV as my first book then switched to his brother, its been such fun to write, I am telling my stories as first person and present tense, so I get to observe the chracter I had previously told the story from th POV of.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    of course the narrator's 'voice' in the narrative has to be just as different from the other characters' are [or might be], as each one's speaking voice must... otherwise none will have an identifiable character of his/her own...

    just as you would not tell a story around the campfire in exactly the same way as anyone else would...
     
  6. kaylynwrong
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    kaylynwrong Member

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    It's interesting that you brought this up. Just earlier today and on Friday I read Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow. Their parallel novels, but written years apart. And it felt like some things just didn't quite 'fit' the way they should have, reading it from both perspectives.

    I've never actually changed the narrator. Are you planning to try that, and see how it turns out? It might not work out, but it'd be a learning experience for sure. :)
     
  7. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, the trouble with doing it with published books with a canon instead of just screwing around with unfinished drafts is that if you find out you accidentally betrayed the opposing view point's personality during a scene, you're kinda screwed. :p That's a hypothetical "you" by the way, not the voice of experience. :p

    Guess that sort of answers it - if a published author hits character inconsistencies, it does show that if he'd had the choice, he probably WOULD have changed scenes in their content as well as telling, just to shape around the personality he was writing from.

    I may have to play with this... Have to pick an older story than the one where I only finished typing that scene this afternoon - I don't really want to give my self doubts over what I've only just written! :p
     

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