1. Cruis.In

    Cruis.In New Member

    Sep 14, 2015
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    Personal Dilemma on POV

    Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Cruis.In, Jul 29, 2016.

    Hey guys, I am writing a space opera or soft science fiction. Implying that it's not the technology at the fore front, there's no huge techno babble, or no hugely exotic technology like transporter beams, and therefore no plot points to nullify super tech, such as X is interfering with transporters so we can't beam out of the enemy base.

    The focus is the story and the characters. While tech is in the background.

    At the moment it's kind of a firefly feel to it, it's a small crew (3 people), and they are freelancers who take jobs, etc. But will become involved not in something which might mean the end of MANKIND, as I can read those novels every day about alien invasion ending doom bringing stories (which are ok and i love) but it's more a conflict which will affect them, and their own personal 'playground' in the galaxy.

    The three are designed to play off of each other. You have the leader, who is experienced, but not a know it all or perfect, and is quite witty, and doesn't always make the right decision or the moral one. You have the middle ground, an engineer who has a level head, but is not cold or totally immune to a sense of humor.

    Then you have the young kid between 19-25. Who is bold, brash, rude? Insensitive at times, but also does have a sensitive side, realizes afterwards and isn't afraid to say he was wrong and make ammends. So he isn't a brainless jock. The setting is 24th century, but this kid was raised on planet whose society didn't want all the whistles and bells of modern space faring society, so he was raised a historian and without technology.

    So the three kind of play off of each other, the young one talks like someone from old earth, since he was raised in that kind of 'bubble'. And knows our history which is modern day for us, so it enables me to make many contemporary references and jokes.

    I have trouble deciding whether to use a 3rd person limited or omniscient subjective. On one hand if I do third person limited, I feel I don't get the reader to explore the minds of three very different characters who approach their conflict in very different ways and sometimes come into conflict with each other. You might get a one sided opinion from one POV.

    Then if you suggest I could switch between chapters, I find maybe three people, who are mostly going to be together anyway, switching between them might not make sense?

    Then there is the character vs plot driven. I started this book because I got bored writing a science fiction which had humanity discovering an alien race while exploring. A hostile one. It felt too serious, too dramatic. I wanted characters with more humor, banter, wit, and just plain fun.

    So I took a break from that other book and wrote this one, and have been having a blast in the first 10 chapters. But editing, I've got concerned about POV. I don't hop in paragraphs nothing so bad, but clearly I've realized I'm in third person omniscient, my characters are all together on one ship and they have frequent dialogue.

    If I decided to go more character driven, I have to do a lot of internalizing, and while I can do that, it find it more tedious and again not fun. Because if you are going to be showing a characters struggle and his inner being a lot, for it to be compelling and not boring, it has to be existential and philosophical and really make a statement. I am not confident I can carry a book this way myself.

    Then there is the issue I have with, I want the writing to be fun, as soon as I go deeply thoughtful on motivations etc... I have to touch provocative ideas. Which brings me back to more drama, and I want to enjoy the writing, not bring out my own inner demons and experiences to touch on so I can have compelling internalization and motivations.

    I have a concern that perhaps I might remove the reader too far from each character they care about neither. If I stick to the omniscient. Well I've been told that is a concern. But I feel, the three characters on their own, and their relationship and going through the conflict together is a whole other character which in itself will be compelling.

    That the story is experienced through three diverse, loyal friends. Whose relationship is tested by that diversity and how they overcome it.

    I am wondering about your opinions, is it possible to avoid boring myself with excessive internalization if I use third person limited, and is it possible to still bring across the awesome interaction these three have when together, from the limited point of view of only one of them?
  2. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

    Jun 7, 2015
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    If it's drama, use third person limited. If it's comedy (or even just quirky) use omniscient.

    Just think: Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

    But, you don't have to take my word for it. This is straight from Orson Scott Card's Character & Viewpoint.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
  3. Caveriver

    Caveriver Active Member

    Jul 18, 2016
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    I always lean toward third person limited, simply because I feel you can focus as closely or as far away as you want.

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