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  1. MrGazbill

    MrGazbill New Member

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    Can't decide what perspective to write from

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by MrGazbill, Dec 26, 2016.

    I have an idea for a novel about a mutiny on a ship. It's basically how one person was swayed to partake only to be saved by the person he was trying to overthrow. I'm trying to decide if this should be written from first person. I thought maybe journal entries only? Is this a bad idea?

    I'm very new to writing pieces like this and not sure which way will be most captivating.
     
  2. MusingWordsmith

    MusingWordsmith Shenanigan Master Contributor

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    First of all, welcome to WritingForums! Hope you have fun here. :)

    To answer your question, what 'feels' the most right to you? Journal entries might be a cool and fun way to do it, yeah. But, again, does it feel right?

    Just go for what feels right, and if it doesn't really seem to work, then change it! You're allowed to do that. ;)
     
  3. MrGazbill

    MrGazbill New Member

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    Thank you very much for the response! I will give it a go. I think the journal entries feels right. The story has a more deep personal meaning I think would come across well with that perspective. My only fear is the descriptions of what's going on may lack.

    I agree, try it. Change it if it doesn't seem to be working.

    Thanks again for the welcoming and the response!
     
  4. exweedfarmer

    exweedfarmer Banned Contributor

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    If you don't know ships, don't bother. If it's a big ship and you don't know anything about command, don't bother. Read the Hornblower series by C.S. Forrester and go rent the Cain Mutiny. First person is hard to do. Everything I've written from that perspective ended up in the trash... and rightly so.
     
  5. ddavidv

    ddavidv Senior Member

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    Maybe try writing a chapter or two from different perspectives, then see which one has the proper feel to it.
     
  6. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Writing from journal entries has definitely been done (e.g. Go Ask Alice). But it can be limiting. For one, thing, it makes it impossible to change POV. What you may want to do is use "excerpts" from a journal throughout the story, sort of the way Herman Wouk used excerpts from his fictional general's book in The Winds of War and War and Remembrance.
     
  7. tonguetied

    tonguetied Contributor Contributor

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    Another: welcome to the forum. I am curious if you are a pantser or a planner with your writing? I would think your decision might become more clear if you had a good outline for your story at least in your head, and develop a few key scenes to determine what seems to get the story across the way you want it to. Of course I am not a pantser, not even a good planner since that is all I ever do. Another question is whether your ship is an ocean type vessel or a starship? A starship would be very open to a wide variety of possibilities, the whole naval type command structure might not exist, more of a scientific, or business, approach to command for example. Whole different concept of mutiny IMO.
     
  8. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Banned Contributor

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    Perspective will greatly limit or enable your mobility. A plausible first person perspective will only allow for the narrator's thoughts to be considered, and any thoughts of others will only be the narrator's interpretation thereof. You can utilize an alternating perspective, that is where you switch between first person and omniscient, or more plausibly that the story is told after its conclusion and the narrator can therefore predict the events of the story.

    But overall, third person omniscient will allow you to seize time and place. You can tell about the past, the future, what happens in the loft, and what happens in the basement simultaneously.

    So how do you intend on telling your story?
     
    tonguetied likes this.
  9. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Bear in mind that most enlisted men in the days of sail would be unlikely to be literate, so the only people keeping a journal would be officers (or possibly the captains clerk).

    In a mutiny officers would be unlikely to side with the mutineers (unless the captain was an absolute monster in which case its just about possible that the officers might lead a mutiny against him). Also it would be very difficult for a mutineer to be 'saved' given that its a capital offence, and his captain would not be predisposed to intervene.

    (In the Richard Bolitho series by Alexander Kent, in "To glory we steer" Bolitho saves his clerk from hanging for his part in a mutiny, but i've always thogh that was one of the weaker, less realistic moments)
     

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