1. Marthix2016

    Marthix2016 Banned

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    First Person POV from Hero + Villain?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Marthix2016, Feb 12, 2018.

    Hey all, I'm struggling to figure out what to do...how to write my story...first of all there is the matter of First-Person and Third-Person...I have a good feel for both...and another thing...I want to tell the story from my protagonist's perspective as well as my villainess's perspective. Telling both sides of the story is extremely important (majority is protagonist but few parts of my villainess's world) but I'm struggling to determine whether I should write the story from First-Person POV or Third-Person POV. If I did First-Person, I'm not sure if it'd confuse the reader to switch from my protagonist to my villainess (of course, I could put indicators at the beginning of the chapter)...I haven't read very many books where this happens...switching character in First-Person perspective so I thought I'd ask. I'm sure omniscient Third-Person is the more popular route to go here. How do I ultimately determine which perspective to settle on? Any suggestions or tips regarding where I should go with this would be appreciated! :)
     
  2. Fernando.C

    Fernando.C Contributor Contributor

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    I've read books where the author switches POVs in first person and it works perfectly fine if done well. What I recommend, is changing chapters when switching PoVs, this way it won't get confusing for the reader. in terms of first-person or third-person, I'd say it more a matter of preference, both can work. Though third-person is more popular and personally I like it more and I'm talking about third person limited here not omniscient. Third-person limited does make it a bit easier to transition between POVs imo, which is why most novel with multiple POVs use third-person limited but there's no reason first person won't work specially if there's only two POVs you're gonna be switching between. Like I said it comes down to personal choice and preference really. Good luck!
     
  3. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    No need for omniscient. My vote would be close third person limited with a changing POV character.
     
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  4. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Another vote for close third person with a shifting viewpoint.

    Omniscient isn't very popular at all these days. The trend is toward immersion in the character, and omniscient has some difficulties there. And while there have been some successful multiple first person books, it's a risky stylistic choice.
     
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  5. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin I don't feel tardy.... Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, agree here. You have to be really, really, really good at writing to separate the voices of multiple first person POV characters from each other. I'm not saying you're not... but the odds are not in any of our favors. Marking the chapters with the characters' names alone won't cut it.
     
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  6. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I meant to add: Close third person gives you pretty much all the access to character thoughts, feelings, etc., that you get with first person. But it gives more flexibility, because you have the option of sometimes stepping back a bit for more distance.
     
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  7. animagus_kitty

    animagus_kitty Senior Member

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    This. I've got several POV characters, who each take the 'camera' when they have something important to share, or when there's something the reader needs to hear from them specifically. Only the primary main character, whose story this is, is written in first person. Everyone else is in third; but they all sound very different. Miranda's vocabulary is very, very different from Zandakar's vocabulary, and Zandakar doesn't sound an exceptional amount like Malchoir, who's written in first person...the goal is to be able to tell who's talking, regardless of first/third person.
     
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  8. Cave Troll

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

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    I was told to pick a POV and stick with it for all MCs. So in your story is everyone
    else secondary/tertiary? And out of curio, has anybody found the leap from the
    difference in POV from first to third (or vice versa)?
    (Sorry I have questions, since more seasoned persons here admonished me on this.)
     
  9. animagus_kitty

    animagus_kitty Senior Member

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    In my story, Mal is the main character. It's his story, he's the reason I'm writing the book.He's written in 1st.
    Zandakar *could* be considered a main character, because he's sort of representing the opposition, but he and every other POV character are written in 3rd.

    I can't say as I've read a novel that's done it quite like that, but I've had novels who switch between two or more 1st person POVs.
    I've had a few people look at my WIP, and none of them have complained about the switch between 1st/3rd. Maybe I do it well enough, maybe it's not a problem for the people who read it, I don't know.

    Maybe other people on this forum, bigger people, better people, more successful people, think going with both is bad; and maybe it is. But it seems to be working for me, and that's all the more I can really say with authority.
     
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  10. Cave Troll

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

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    Good to hear that it is working out for you. Can't say that I have read any like that before.
    I took a less traditional route, and did not use chapters at all. Just turnbase with labels
    for my story, seemed to be a little more accepted by the higher ups. :D
     
  11. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    There's nothing wrong with having one first-person character and the rest third. There just needs to be a reason for it. The Fifth Season is a fantastic example of this. Mostly the book is written in second-person, with some characters getting third-person and small interludes of first-person narration. What Jemisin did well was she gave a reason to all the different POVs. At the end of the book, when it's revealed what has been going on and who the characters are, it all makes total sense for the shifts in POV. Now, there doesn't need to be some big reveal for it to work, but there has to be some story specific reason, otherwise it's just a gimmick, right?
     
  12. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Authors write books with multiple first person POVs. Or with a first person POV and multiple third person POVs. Or even a combination that includes second person. This all can be and has been done. It’s not a problem so long as you do it well.
     
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  13. animagus_kitty

    animagus_kitty Senior Member

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    Kind of my feeling. If I've learned nothing else from this site over the past almost-a-year, it's that 'never' is a very, very strong word. Almost anything can be done (even pissing on the corpse of grammar rules), as long as it's done well. I've seen people post quotes from authors I'd put down before the end of the first page.
     
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  14. Fernando.C

    Fernando.C Contributor Contributor

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    Agreed. I always take issue with people who say things like, you can't/shouldn't ever do this or always do this or other absolute phrases like that. THere are no hard and fast rules in writing. You can do anything, as long as you do it well and do it with purpose.

    On a side note, I want 'pissing on the corpse of grammar rules' to be the name of my future death metal band :p
     
  15. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    That’s a good death metal band name.

    I agree that anyone who purports to give you categorical rules for writing or says you can never do ‘x’ should generally be disregarded.
     
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  16. making tracks

    making tracks Active Member

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    I've said it before, but reading Nick Hornby's A Long Way Down made me realise how good first person with changing POV can be when it's done well. The voices are incredibly distinct and it really adds a lot both to the characters and the story.

    It also made me realise how blandly it has been done before in other things I'd read, where each chapter pretty much sounds the same with a different name slapped on the chapter. It's not just about what characters think and talk about but how they think and talk about it. If you can do it well it can add to the characters, but as others have said you have to have a good reason to limit what the reader sees and knows to exactly what the character does and make sure you have some sort of edge in making the voices truly distinct.
     

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