1. apathykills
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    apathykills Contributing Member

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    Writing violence in first person pov

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by apathykills, Nov 1, 2008.

    I wasn't sure were to post this, hope this is it.

    I have a story in which it is imperative the mc will be beaten to within an inch of his life, this is in no way a fight, this is the mc being hit rapidity without any chance or hope of fighting back, this is written from the mc's pov and the attack was made from the back so he really didn’t see it coming.

    i'm trying to show the confusion and fear the guy is feeling along with an accurate depiction of pain and the type of blows he is sustaining.

    I hope some of you can help me, how would you write this kind of situation from a first person pov?
     
  2. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Imagine you are in the MC shoes. Share what you would think, know, and feel.

    Sharp pain spread across my back. I collapsed to my knees. At first it was confusing, but after two more blows of pain I realized someone was beating me. Blow after blow pain shot through my body. My vision tunneled but I could see flickers of shadow on the ground. Then I lost consciousness.
     
  3. Echtur
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    Echtur New Member

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    Remember taste. As gruesome as this is it would probably be one of the major memories of an attack.
     
  4. JGraham
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    JGraham Senior Member

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    Things like this are always interesting.

    I fell to my knees, my breath quickened. The lights around me began to dance as the sound wavered. Another quick shot brought me back to reality, I was being attacked. The room began to darken as my attacker persisted unrelentingly. I tried to fight back, but it was to no avail. The rapid strikes drove me down, and without another thought, my world went dark.


    Hope the examples we gave help you. Good Luck.
     
  5. traffic101
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    traffic101 Member

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    Yes. I think it would help if you even acted it out for a bit. I love dialogue, but if there isn't any than...

    My heart pounded...I could hear the roar in my ears as I felt his hot breath on my neck. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the 2x4, and knew the pain was coming.

    I heard a soft whiz, and than crash, the darkness came rushing....

    I hope that helps.

    Tressa
     
  6. JStryka
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    JStryka New Member

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    I have some slight experience doing POV:


    Suddenly, I heard a loud thud. My legs froze and my torso locked in place for a split moment before I felt the actual pain creeping through my nerve system.
    It was a slow, crawling sharpness at the first few seconds, but it shot through my spine with an intense speed.

    It was only then when I realized something had hit me.

    The taste of metal flowed in my mouth after another blow, this time letting gravity did it's work. Face first crashing in to filthy and hard concrete, the metal taste turned into a rapid stream of blood coughed up from my lungs.
    I heard something crack at a horribly loud sound, and then I felt singeing on my upper back again.

    Flailed my arms in an attempt to crawl or just move away in desperation, I failed, and one more blow turned my peripheral vision into a dark fading shadow, seeing flickers of light and darkness.

    With only my ears comprehending another echoing sound of a blow, I felt extremely tired, and I closed my eyes.
     
  7. Emerald
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    Emerald Contributing Member

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    It really isn't as melodramatic as you people make it sound...

    It happens so fast you don't have time to think, and usually any thoughts you do have are more along the lines of how you're going to get out of it. Survival instincts kick in, even if you're unable to act on them.

    If I were you, I'd focus on the desperate struggle to get back on your feet. Most people wouldn't start sampling the tastes and smells around them when they're being attacked. It makes it seem calm and inevitable, whereas really you want confusing and frightening. Plus, most people wouldn't give up hope that easily anyway...
     
  8. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I'm going to give you a exercise to let you see how to do this. Go to my blog and read Snippet 3 from chapter 9 of 'The Betrayal." It's not very long, but it has a section of a ship's battle where the bridge of the MC's ship is hit..read it and then tell me how you would tell someone about that-as if you lived through it. That's how a first-person POV works..


     
  9. PipeandPen
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    PipeandPen Senior Member

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    I agree. I would write it in a confusing manner. I wouldn't even have the mc say/think he was being attacked.
     
  10. MakeLoveNotWar
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    MakeLoveNotWar New Member

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    I dont't do much first person, but I would have your MC constantly scrambling to his feet just to be knocked down again, showing his frustration. Even when he was bloody pulp, I would have him reaching out to try and pull himself away.

    If it helps, I find that after a hard impact or very close to death moment you can taste metal.
     
  11. CommonGoods
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    CommonGoods Senior Member

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    The metal you taste is actually your own blood, which contains a lot of iron, or at least, so I'm told. By the time you start tasting iron, it's usually the time you should start worrying about permanent damage...

    I agree with Emerald mostly. Less internal dialog (pun intended), more basic instincs; keep breathing, try to keep your eyes open, keep your heart beating. Although, and this is some personal experience, some people tend to get some kind of revelation a split second before they pass out.
     
  12. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    In my opinion, struggle should be to the forefront; struggling to survive; to remain cognizant; to limit damage, if at all possible; to ascertain the identity of your assailant. As was said before, there wouldn't be time to experience taste, not in any substance anyway. The mc's reaction, I suppose, ultimately depends on how he or she is hit; where; how hard; how many times. What kind of defence would they put up? Would they try, even in the midst of an onslaught, to escape? Or would they try to defend themselves physically? I had a scene in a short story where the mc rolled himself into a ball after being overpowered by two assailants, trying to cover himself until his efforts proved futile and he gave in and lost consciousness. It has to happen fast, though, if it's to be believable; no time for substantive internalisation. That can happen when he or she wakes up, if they do.:D
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A fight is high action. Keep sentences short. Simple. Even abrupt. The occasional longer sentence can help the flow, but don't overdo it.

    Stay focused. Forget details, your character is too busy to notice. Except that gun barrel, your eyes are glued to it.

    Keep the pace!
     
  14. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    I'd emphasize the despair involved in the situation, the feeling that he very well may die and that their is no way for him to escape. I think that would increase the realism of the situation.
     
  15. lipton_lover
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    lipton_lover Contributing Member

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    always remember the 5 senses. Not only can a character smelling something be a great way to show something important, it's the best thing for descriptive scenes like this should be.

    He sees nothing, that's good because sight is of course way overused anyways.
    He hears the noise of the assailant attacking him.
    He smells... I don't know, it would depend on how he's being attacked. Don't throw in some random smell, because it shouldn't be there unless it's helping the scene, or is something important.
    He feels the blows to his back.
    He tastes the blood in his mouth maybe? Not sure if that would happen from hits to the back. He could also taste the gravel that gets in his mouth as he falls. Or combine the two if you really want to use taste.


    Definitely act it out, remember things like what he's being attacked with, what the person attacking him is like, (does the person have something scented with them?) anything nearby him that might aid the scene, and of course how he would feel. What is he like? Is he the type of person to try and get back up repeatedly like someone else suggested?

    One more thing... if he's within an inch of his life, you could try the whole leaving the body going through the tunnel thing. But that would probably just be extra useless words.
    Good luck! Nate
     

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