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  1. Flying Geese

    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Is this a correct way to switch POV mid-scene?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Flying Geese, Feb 15, 2016.

    I suppose by "correct" I mean easy to understand/follow or has it been done before?

    The scene is simple. Scene 1 concludes with the main character being abruptly summoned by the king. Scene 2 begins with the King and his advisors already discussing something about the main character. After a short talk between the king and his men, the main character knocks on the door. The king tells him to enter, and at that point I switch back to the main character's POV.

    The rest of the scene is from the main character's POV.
     
  2. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Make it a new scene.

    Sartre flits between POVs in Roads to Freedom, and it makes it a difficult book to read. Don't do it unless you're a genius.
     
    King_Horror likes this.
  3. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that works. As long as it doesn't feel jarring, I don't see why it's ever a problem. At least in switching third-person perspective. First-person would have confusion issues with identify who's narrating.
     
  4. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Contributing Member Contributor

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    I tend to agree. Unless you are writing in an extremely tight third person you can flit around wherever you want. It'd only be if you were almost literally narrating every single thought in the characters head that you'll run into a problem by changing mid stream.
     
  5. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    You mean tight first person? Because otherwise you aren't agreeing with me.
     
  6. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Scene breaks, and make it clear from the first sentence whose head we're in.
     
  7. terobi

    terobi Contributing Member

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    Personally, I'd make it a new scene, or at the very least leave a bit of a space.

    Though, it of course depends on how the rest of your book is written - does it jump between heads a lot, or is the rest of the book then from the one POV? If so, you might want to think of a different way to get that information across to stop it jarring.
     
  8. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yup, the octothorpe is your friend. :)
     
  9. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are books with mid-scene POV shifts that are clear and easy to follow... but there are also rejected MSs with mid-scene POV shifts that weren't clear and easy to follow. Maybe write it out and get just that scene beta'd to see if it works before you commit to any similar shifts elsewhere in the MS?
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  10. Flying Geese

    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    While I was in the process of writing the final draft of this scene it ended up being longer than I had anticipated. If this scene gets much longer then I will actually be better off making it a whole new chapter.

    But I didn't want to use a scene break to switch back to the main character because the part where the king and his men are talking is relatively brief. I agree though, I need this beta'd ... It's literally the last thing I need to do.

    ... Any volunteers :)
     
  11. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    @Flying Geese I think your way of approaching it sounds fine. As for how it has been done before - numerous ways. It is most common to have a scene break, but there are authors who switch POV without it, or even authors who switch POV in the middle of a sentence (e.g. Virginia Woolf).
     
    Flying Geese likes this.

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