1. BruMeister
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    BruMeister Member

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    Writing In Perspectives

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by BruMeister, Mar 18, 2011.

    When writing scenes, is it best to stay in the perspective of one character?

    For example:

    "Bob couldn't tell what Sarah was thinking. Was she angry? He could never tell. She was always a closed book."

    Or multiple perspectives?

    Example:

    "Bob could never tell what Sarah was thinking. Little did he know, Sarah was actually very upset with him."
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    It depends. The first example you gave is limited-third and the second example is omniscient-third.

    Picking which POV type to use depends on what type of information needs to be conveyed in your story and on what style you would like to convey said information.

    If you want the readers to remain with one MC the whole time, learning new info as the MC does, you want first-person ("I") or limited third.

    If you have, say, lots of information that you need more than one character's focus to convey, then you'd be better with third-omniscient.
     
  3. BruMeister
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    BruMeister Member

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    Well I'm going to have the story switch to other scenes occasionally with different characters, so I wouldn't want to do first person.
     
  4. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    If you switch between several character's POV, chances are you want third omniscient. Multiple MC POVs with first-person have been done, but you have to make it super clear at the beginning of each chapter who that chapter is about -- the only times I've seen it done are in chick lit novels that center around a group of friends where the chapters rotate from girl to girl. And, I mean, it can be done, but rarely.

    Even if you use third-person with a different character per chapter, keep each section limited to the character you're on. Does that make sense? Let's say Chapter 1 is about Bob, Chapter 2 is about Susan and Chapter 3 is about Sara -- in Chapter 1, don't talk about Bob and then go "meanwhile, Sarah thought this..."

    Whichever MC you're using for a given scene, stay with that MC until you're on a different scene with a different focus MC. Otherwise it will seem detached and weird, and we won't feel connected to any of the characters.
     
  5. BruMeister
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    BruMeister Member

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    Yeah my thing is I want to have connection to the characters, and I feel like I'd have more connection with singling on one character in a specific number of chapters than I would with 3rd person omniscient.
     
  6. Ion
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    Ion Senior Member

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    My advice is write in third-person limited, where you only see one character's thoughts. You can switch between different characters at chapter breaks or whatever, but try not to do it in the same scene.
     
  7. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I agree.
     
  8. Thanshin
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    Thanshin Active Member

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    Follow that advice.
     
  9. Computersleuth
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    Computersleuth New Member

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    This.

    I recently went through a thread that I wrote a year ago. It was written as 3rd person intimate - but it switched abruptly into 3rd person intimate of a different character. As I read it, I was thrown for a loop at the switch. I can only imagine what the reader might feel with this.
     

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