1. MVgrimm

    MVgrimm New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Need help with Chapters Layout

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by MVgrimm, Jan 17, 2018.

    Hi I almost finish rewriting my 3rdPOV book to multiple 1st POV. While studying to write 1st POV from YT channels. Some advice stated the story should start with the protagonist POV.
    Since my previous 3rdPOV didn't begin with the protagonist. I added another chapter in form of Journal entry belong to the protagonist. So how do I layout my chapters which include a prologue.

    1) Journal (protagonist)
    2) Prologue (other characters 1stPOV)
    3) Chapter 1 (other characters 1stPOV)

    or

    1) Prologue (other characters 1stPOV)
    2) Journal (protagonist)
    3) Chapter 1 (other characters 1stPOV)

    thanks
    Grimm
     
  2. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    5,106
    Likes Received:
    3,169
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Welcome to the forum.

    First of all, multiple 1st person narratives are extremely difficult, and the more you have, the more difficult it becomes. It requires having a distinctive narrative voice for each one. One can accomplish the same goals in 3rd limited. Personally, I only use 1st person if I want the narrator to be to some extent unreliable.

    That said, and assuming that you've got your reasons, it appears from the above that the "journal" could be simply an introduction of the protagonist, and the prologue an introduction of the other 1st person narrators. Meaning that the story doesn't even begin until chapter three. If that's the case, I would scrap both and simply start with Chapter One. You can introduce each character within the story itself, at the precise moment that the reader needs to know who (s)he is.

    One other note - each switch in 1st person narrator should be signaled clearly to the reader, both by a separate chapter and a title or heading to each chapter indicating who the POV character is.

    Good luck. I hope this helps.
     
    MVgrimm likes this.
  3. DeeDee

    DeeDee Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    418
    Starting with the protagonist in the first chapter is more common in YA than adult books. You can begin the book from anybody's POV, even from the POV of a character that's going to be eaten by a t-rex at the end of Chapter 1 :D When arranging the chapters you only need to think which is the best order to tell the story. Is there intriguing stuff in that Journal? Does it go like this: "This was the year when the Grinch came and stole Christmas." (very intriguing, the reader is hooked, you can put that at the very start of the book). Or does it go like this: "On January 1 I had steak for dinner. On January 2 I watched X-Factor on tv. On January 3 Marry had a little lamb. On January 4 I made pancakes." (so boring the reader puts the book in the bin :twisted:Not really suitable for putting at the start of a book).
     
    MVgrimm likes this.
  4. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Messages:
    1,633
    Likes Received:
    1,480
    Myself, I would not be comfortable with more than one 1st POV. Diane Gabaldon in her "Outlander" series used predominantly 1stPOV, from Claire, the female protagonist. She occasionally through in other POVs, when Claire wasn't around, but they were always 3rd, never 1st.
     
    MVgrimm and EdFromNY like this.
  5. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    5,106
    Likes Received:
    3,169
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    The multiple 1st POV that I always come back to is Elizabeth Kostova's The Swan Thieves, in which there were three 1st person POVs, one male and two female, but all shared a similar "voice", a fact for which she was taken to task by her critics. Michener, in his The Novel, used four different 1st person POVs and did, I think, a better job. Unlike Kostova, who moved back and forth across her characters. Michener assigned each POV character a separate section of the story, so that he did not have to continually change up the voices. From the reader's perspective, once one gets into each section, on becomes accustomed to the voice of that section.
     
  6. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,281
    Likes Received:
    1,222
    Multiple first person narratives always remind me of Faulkner's As I lay dying. He separated the story into chapters, identified only by the narrator's name. I found it gave me a much greater understanding of the dynamics at play. It also helped that each chapter was written in a stream of conscious format, as opposed to a narration. I think it's important when having different narrators that the voices all be very different. There were no two individuals on As I lay dying that were even close to each other in terms of how they thought and their internal struggles, but they fed off of each other in a way that made the story interesting.
     
    MVgrimm likes this.
  7. MVgrimm

    MVgrimm New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Ed,

    I never explain my book in more details. Its a Fantasy Mystery. And I wrote it in 3rdPOV because there a lot of scenes in multiple places and it doesn't center on the protagonist alone. When I ask an editor to edit, he advise the story should be written in 1st POV. But I dismiss it because my mind thought that 1stPOV center around one person only. Never like 1st POV to be honest, only read Hunger Games that's all. The rest is Omni or 3rd. So I publish my book last year and receive comments about the odd style of narrating and all my characters except for the two main characters not define at all in the story. Also my narrating 3rd is really bad. :). Then I found there is multiple 1st POV books that authors wrote. That's when I decided to change it and I felt comfortable when narrating it. So thanks again for the advise. Also I forgot there actually two protagonist . The one with the journal just have slightly more chapters to him then the other one and the book name after him. And the second protagonist chapter start at chapter One. Also my Multiple 1POV doesn't only involves just one or half a dozen characters. it is more than a dozen. I know most people won't like it. But I hope some will like it. I just organize the characters into three group. 1(the one timer) 2 (the supporting ) 3 (the two main characters).
     
  8. MVgrimm

    MVgrimm New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks DeeDee.
    My book is YA fantasy
    Actually the Journal is just the protagonist narrating and not really a journal. More like a short summary, about who he is and he was narrating something that happen to him in the last few chapter of the book. A story related to him by someone. And the protagonist telling what he think about the story in his own words. Also the story in not just a normal story. It is the backdrop story of the plot to my books.
     
  9. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    15,345
    Likes Received:
    13,069
    A thought: If you're comfortable with the multiple first POVs, and you feel that the characters are coming out well-drawn...you could turn around and do a grammar-only change to go BACK to third again. Because very close third person limited is basically first with a grammar flip.

    I know that wasn't your question. But I'd really suggest that you grab one chapter, for a character that wasn't working in third and is now working in first, and try it.

    Because multiple firsts is going to be really, really hard to do and keep the reader engaged.
     
    MVgrimm likes this.
  10. MVgrimm

    MVgrimm New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi CF

    Thanks, appreciate the advise

    I understand the problem. My first 3rd POV, one of the reader comment they couldn't engaged with other characters beside the two main charac. When I wrote in 1stPOV most of the other character came alive, things which i didn't write in the 3rd POV are now in the story. I don't know why but when in 3rd my thoughts goes blank. :). Anyway I organized my chapters, hoping the readers won't get lost. In one chapter there are sub chapters belongs to different POV and it happen at the same time. Is like passing the baton from one charac to another. 90 percent of my chapters is like this. Also i organized my charac to 3 group. and I'm not planning to write several 1st POV charac in a single book for the rest of my series. BUT the first book (this one ) I need viewpoints from quite number of characters, their stories which they only knew, their thoughts, secrets they hold plays a plot to my story, also its provide hints to most of the questions to help the readers trying to unravel the mysteries when they read the whole series. For example who is Jon Snow parents :) I never thought it matter in the GOT series when I read the first GOT book and I didn't know who they are after reading the rest. lol.
    Now i start with three group but as the books goes along i will end the (one timer group) then the supporting group and the last two books of the series probably left with the two main characters.
    I have no idea whether there are other authors wrote their 1st POV books this way. I know a lot of readers won't like it, just hope some will find it interesting.
     
  11. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    5,106
    Likes Received:
    3,169
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    This is exactly what you should not do. Get us into the story immediately, and tell us who he is in the context of the story. Even references to prior stories should be worked in this way.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice