1. varma

    varma Member

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    Is there any rule like should stick one point of view in a chapter

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by varma, Mar 7, 2019.

    Is there a rule like should stick to one point of view in a chapter?
    I usually write in a first person pov. So, I go for multiple (two protagonists )first-person pov's
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Multiple first person POVs strikes me as really tricky. Are you dead set against third person? You can still get inside emotions and thoughts in third person.

    I can't think of a lot of precedents for multiple first person POVs. I know that it's been done, but it's rare enough that I don't think there's a consensus.
     
  3. varma

    varma Member

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    I am not against to third person point of view...but, started a novel with the first-person point of view...I felt some what comfortable with multiple(pov's of two main protagonists) first-person points of view as per my story.
     
  4. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's not really a rule, but a single POV per chapter, or at least per scene. is a good idea. POV transitions can disorient the reader if you aren't careful and skillful.

    Author Frank Herbert did master the switching POV within a scene. Read Paul's gom jabbar trial in Dune for an example. However, when his son Brian picked up his father's series and emulated his style, he couldn't equal his father's skill in that technique.

    So it can be done, but why risk it if you can accomplish the same thing other ways. For instance, you can run the same scene later from a different POV, so the reader sees how subjective a set of fixed events can be.
     
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  5. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I think it would be very hard for me to get into a story with multiple first persons POV characters, especially if it was switching between them often. I really think first person is best when it stays with one character. You want readers to connect with your characters and that can take some time. You don't want to pull readers out of that and switch POVs. I imagine it could be somewhat hard to follow and flow the way you intend. And the stories we write are the stories of our characters. The POV character is sort of like our guide to the story. Do you really need more than one guide if you're sticking with first person? It's not like you would have to cut a character or anything if you just stick with one as the narrator. However, Faulkner's "The Son and Fury" is divided up into four sections and each one is a different POV. They are all in third person except for the last one which is in first. But there isn't switching around like you're talking about. I think it was an interesting decision for Faulkner to write the last section in first person. Anyone else read it and have any thoughts on that?
     
  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    There's no "rule" about it, no. It's all a matter of what you can pull off successfully. Authors have switched POV within a single sentence (see Virginia Woolf), as well as within a single scene. There are plenty of authors who shift within a chapter. In my view, you just want to make sure the reader can follow what you're doing.
     
  7. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    But in first person?
     
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  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    I say there is no "rule" against it. I haven't seen that kind of POV switch in first person without at least a section break (and maybe not without a chapter break--I'd have to go back and look at books). I'm dubious about the prospects of doing it. But if the OP wants to know whether there is a "rule..."
     
  9. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's hard enough to pull off successfully in third person.

    I won't go so far as to say it's impossible in first person, but what would be the benefit, other than to prove it could be done. It's possible to survive losing a game of Russian Roulette, but so what?
     
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