1. Floppyear

    Floppyear New Member

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    Correct perspective (Newb)

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Floppyear, May 16, 2020.

    I'm a total newb here, and with writing also, so I apologise if I'm doubling up with something already covered, but I couldn't find the answer I need. Perhaps I'm not familiar with the correct terms to search either so it could be right in front of me.

    In short, if I'm writing a book about a father having to go to some extremes to save the life of his daughter, what perspective should I write that from in your opinion? I'm choosing to do it from the father's point of view so he is story A and I have another character to fill the position of story B.

    I have a tendency to write as if it's a screenplay because I am a teacher and I pretty much talk as if giving a lesson, subseqently I write in a way that is basically outlining all of the detail in the scene and how the characters feel based on what they see and know. Possibly not creating a single perspective and possibly stifling creative interpretation on behalf of the reader when in fact I'm trying to add to it... like I said I'm a total newb.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2020
  2. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    Are you intending to write in first person or third person?
     
  3. Floppyear

    Floppyear New Member

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    I'm not really sure. The way I was writing it was more third person but the feedback I was given was that it didn't really capture anybody's perspective specifically, it was just an overall view... I like that but the feedback also suggested that it made it less engrossing and didn't establish a connection with teh characters because it was too clinic and distant.
     
  4. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    That's called omniscient third.

    You have the option of close third.
    https://www.ignitedinkwriting.com/ignite-your-ink-blog-for-writers/third-person-close-point-of-view-definition-pros-and-cons/2018
     
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  5. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Yeah limited third with italics for deep thoughts would capture
    personal thoughts, and avoid the 1rst POV change in the story. :)
     
  6. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor Blogerator

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    Whoah!! What is this??!! Did Cave Troll just talk about writing??!@#@?$%$ :supershock::supergrin:
     
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  7. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Oh no, did I do a good? :supergrin:
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
  8. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor Blogerator

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    You did, but I just don't think I've seen you do that before. What times are these, when cave trolls issue forth into the light and go about helping new members? Is the end of days upon us? Or could it be the beginning of a new Golden Age? Ah, these unanswerables...
     
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  9. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    I at times know a little something in my travels as a fellow writer. :)
     
  10. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    Screenshot it. It might not happen again.
     
  11. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber marshmallow Contributor

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    I think omniscient third is a bit harder to do well, and it creates distance between the reader and the character.
    If you're going to write it in close third, you will want to choose a character to focus on for scenes at a time, not switching around within the scene. It gets confusing and tiring for the reader if you keep switching around too often.
     
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  12. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Supporter Contributor

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    I think you would be better off with the multiple third person limited perspective. This gives you the freedom to hop around characters, preferably by chapter or section, without limiting the perspective too much to lose the internal aspects of other characters. This also prevents the issue of blending and continuity that omniscient perspective users typically run into.
     
  13. Floppyear

    Floppyear New Member

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    Ok thanks very much to the people that have tried to help - and not so much to the people taking it off-topic to bag the guy trying to help a newb :)

    So to be clear in my mind, as a self-confessed dumbass, if I write each scene from the perspective of one of the characters but maintain that same perspective throughout that specific scene and then change to the perspective of another character on the next scene, that's ok? I guess I just need to understand whether the limited third person means I have to give less detail.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
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  14. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    It is, but it again can be confusing to readers. You need to ask yourself if you need to do that.

    A lot of close third concentrates the perspective to the MC, or at most, one other character. It depends how close you want your readers to be to your character or characters.

    Another way is to use omniscient third, and "zoom" in to the perspective of a particular character for a scene.
     
  15. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor Blogerator

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    Ok, I'll try to actually be helpful. Hey, if @Cave Troll can do it... :D

    Here's some advice I ran across about transitioning from the omniscient (expansive) narration down into a character's 'head' (Third Person Narrative Made Easy):

    • At the start of the scene, the camera is positioned some distance away from where the action is about to take place. In filmmaking, this is called the establishing shot.
    • Next, you cut to a much closer view of the scene as it’s about to unfold – one which includes the viewpoint character in the frame. We’re still seeing the character from the outside at this point.
    • Finally (and this is where the movie analogy breaks down), the camera enters the viewpoint character’s head and their eyes become the lens. More than that, the camera not only sees what the viewpoint character sees; it smells what they smell, tastes what they taste and hears their thoughts.

    This is what Nao meant by 'zooming'. I went into some more detail about this on a recent blog post (I was wrestling with exactly what you are). In the comments under the blog post it was explained that you can also move out of a character's POV into the omniscient viewpoint at other places besides just the beginning of a scene for an establishing shot. Do it when it feels necessary. This ties in with the page @Naomasa298 linked above, which said you should think about 3rd close and 3rd Omniscient as a continuum, not 2 separate things. You transition from one to the other as it suits the story's needs.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
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  16. Floppyear

    Floppyear New Member

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    Ok that's great feedback, I have to admit that I'm a tad confused and slightly overwhelmded with the prospect of slipping from one perspective to the next and not fully appreciatie the negative effect that could have on the story. I feel like the safest option for me is to the run full third-person omniscient because that's how I see the story playing out and I think that might be easier for me to maintain consistently. I'd rather go third-person limited but I'm concerned I'll spend a great deal of time developing the story and get it wrong and have to come back and redo it again.
     
  17. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber marshmallow Contributor

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    This I think is the problem with 3rd omniscient, because you want to avoid the bewilderment and whiplash that results from shifting between points of view too quickly.

    I'm not sure how writing in limited third would contribute to this particular problem. In any event, editing is pretty important regardless of POV.
     
  18. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Supporter Contributor

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    That's why I suggested third person limited multiple. Swap at key breaks like chapters, and just stick with the character most important to driving the plot. The reader can enter their mind ad understand their thoughts, with the excitement of not knowing which character we would enter next. Omniscient is nice when you need to immediately see the characters inner dialogues playing against each other, but third person limited multiple allows for that comfortable attachment, with a blindness you are able to play with in concurrent chapters following others. The whiplash then becomes a driver in tension with the narrative. George R. R. Martin did this well, I think, though the series as a whole I'm only slightly fond of.

    It wouldn't, you are correct. And yes, editing is likely the most important part of the writing process. Submitting a vomit draft for publication isn't likely to bode well for future prospects.
     
  19. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber marshmallow Contributor

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    I agree with everything. I haven't tried too much of third omniscient, but it is cold and impersonal when done incorrectly. It has less room for the warmth and vitality of a human being as your focus.
     
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  20. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Supporter Contributor

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    It can also be a convoluted mess as well if it isn't strung together well. I've dabbled in it here or there, to some degree of success, but it's a struggle just to get a thousand words on the page that don't get lost. If you wanted to practice with it, I would try to write a simple scene which involves a group. Use a lot of body language, and key the dialogue as naturally as possible. You need to show more perspective in the omniscient point of view, since you can rarely directly tell without being invasive.
     
  21. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber marshmallow Contributor

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    It really speaks to the skill of all the old novelists that used it as a matter of course. I may try what you recommend, since there's a wider narrative scope available with it.
     
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  22. Floppyear

    Floppyear New Member

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    Ok now this is some very interesting stuff to me as a total newb. Something I didn't clearly outline before was that I want the audience to feel a genuine warmth towards the young daughter and her predicament, as that should hopefully support why the father is so driven to do what he needs to do... over and above what any father would ordinarily do. Having said that, I want the audience to travel through the story, seeing it through the father's eyes and feeling his challenges.

    In hindsight, I should have made that part clearer earlier in the thread but I guess all of your valuable feedback has opened my eyes even further on what it is I'm trying to achieve.

    In light of this clarification of my goal, is it still your recommendation that I go with third-person limited?

    Thanks again people, I appreciate your support
     
  23. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Supporter Contributor

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    Third person limited or first person. Both have their limits. Honestly, it sounds like you already have a direction you want to go, Soh go with which is more natural feeling for what you want to write. You can always convert it later if the one you try isn't fully working out.
     
  24. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber marshmallow Contributor

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    You can do what you want to do, there's nothing saying you can't write in 3rd omniscient, but I can tell you that I would rather read the story you have described if it were written in 3rd limited. If you really want to focus on the perspective of the father and make the reader feel what he feels, then 3rd limited or 1st person would be the best choices in my opinion.
     
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  25. Floppyear

    Floppyear New Member

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    OK thanks very much guys. very sound advice, I'll try approaching it from third-person limited and hopefully I can get my head into that approach. It does sound as if it's the best approach for what I'm trying to achieve.

    Thanks again
     

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