1. HenWii

    HenWii Member

    Sep 18, 2021
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    Changing perspective when having first person teller

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by HenWii, Oct 7, 2021.

    Hello dear people,

    I wrote a lot of "short stories", they were about 25000 - 40000 words each. In these stories I switched perspectives between characters (first person protagonist-> friend of protagonist or authorial narrator) that the reader gets some background information.

    I am planning right now on my first novel. And during that novel I only use the perspective of the protagonist (first person teller). Now I have a scene, where I need to change the view for one scene. I was wondering if that would be distracting when I just wrote it from the perspective of the protagonist.

    I can give you the scene boiled down:

    The book is about a highly sensitive woman who has much success being a counselor because she can help her clients with her sensitivity and really gets them. She is getting a lot of praise by the clients and her boss. She has a colleague who envys her because of this. This particular colleague works there for 20 years and never had that success. So this colleague starts gaslighting (bad form of manipulation) her, by manipulating her work until the protagonist slowly starts thinking she gets insane after the manipulation got on and on.
    A colleague of her talked to that envious colleague. That conversation is the point where I switch the perspective. The reader learns that she did all these terrible things to the protagonist.

    Would that be a good idea to change the perspective or should I try to get that information figured out by the protagonist?

    In the end I know it is my story and I can do what I want and this novel is still in the planning phase. But I would like to hear your thoughts.
    Have a good near weekend.
  2. Kehlida

    Kehlida Member

    Jan 12, 2021
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    Currently Reading::
    The Shining / Carrie by Stephen King
    I feel you can work with only one PoV in this circumstance. Switching PoV for the purpose of revealing details or divulging information might be too simple or come across as telling instead of allowing your MC or even your audience to piece things together. Given the unfolding plot it sounds like a psychological thriller scenario, perhaps explore how your story would change if your audience must collect this info for themselves, or even show the antagonist doing these things to your MC through present scenes or even flashbacks if you have to.
    Idiosyncratic and HenWii like this.
  3. montecarlo

    montecarlo Contributor Contributor

    Sep 29, 2020
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    America's Heartland
    I would avoid it if possible. I just read a story that switched from first person to third every-other chapter for the first part. It worked for that story. But that’s not what you are describing.

    that being said, if you think that’s the best way to go right now, go for it. Don’t let anyone slow your progress!
    HenWii likes this.
  4. Storysmith

    Storysmith Senior Member

    Jan 5, 2014
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    I'd avoid switching between different first person perspectives. Two possible work-arounds would be:

    1) Use third person throughout

    2) Have the first person viewpoints be in the form of diary entries from different people's diaries. The book Dracula is a great example of this approach
    HenWii likes this.

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