1. Fizzedine

    Fizzedine Member

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    POV chapter titles

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Fizzedine, Jun 8, 2014.

    George R R Martin uses what I call "character POV" chapter titles.
    I was curious to know is this something any of you guys have used?
    I have a novel idea and I think this technique would work. But I don't want to copy a technique if that makes sense?

    Cheers guys
     
  2. CH878

    CH878 Active Member

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    Chapters with different POVs (and titles to mark that) aren't unique to George R R Martin, so you can use them without worrying. Having said that, because his books are so well known, people might think you are 'copying' him in a sense.

    I am planning on using sections with different POVs in my next project. I found that having a different POV for each chapter in Game of Thrones meant it jumped around too much.
     
  3. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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  4. Ulramar

    Ulramar Contributor Contributor

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    I just have it labeled "Chapter 7: Justin Thompson" in similar font and font size. I'll be enlarging it later to make it more obvious, since people have gotten confused in the past. But overall, for my seven main characters, it works well.

    It's a common technique. Many books do it and it works very well for telling multiple stories in one book. Just don't have them overlap in time (have the same scene twice with different perspectives).
     
  5. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Martin did not invent that wheel (nor any of the other wheels he uses, to be frank). It's a very standard dynamic employed in novels where POV changes from one chapter to the next. Robert Silverberg's The Book of Skulls... Michael Cunningham's A Home at the End of the World... Octavia Butler's Clay's Ark...

    The example by Butler doesn't use POV names, though. In her novel, the switching from one chapter to the next is temporal and interlaced and she indicates the when, not the who of each chapter, though the who changes as well as the when.
     
  6. Fizzedine

    Fizzedine Member

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    Thanks guys. I had a feeling George R R Martin didnt invent it but the technique is probably associated with him.
    Thanks for the great feedback.
     
  7. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The earliest example I know of that uses character names as chapter titles to show that each chapter has a different POV is Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, which was published in 1930. So yeah, it's nothing new, and several authors have used it. If you feel comfortable doing this, go for it.
     
  8. cutecat22

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    So that's what it's called (having a dingbat moment).

    Firstly, I've never read George R R Martin but I've a feeling this is how I wrote my book. I wanted to tell a story from two sides and so under each chapter number (after a gap) comes the name of the Character who's POV I am writing from, in bold. BUT, I don't only make these swaps every chapter. Sometimes, a chapter will end with Character A and the next will start with character A but I still put their name there AND, I sometimes swap over mid-chapter, in which case I will put Character B's name before I start writing.

    Also, Character A is in first person present, Character B is in third person/Omni past. (yes - it actually works).

    I am currently experimenting on book two with more characters, all of them written in third person/Omni past with only the one main character (Character A from the first book) in first person present.
     
  9. cutecat22

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Elaine Chissick's Ties That Bind ... (apologies, I couldn't resist) :oops: :D
     
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  10. Fizzedine

    Fizzedine Member

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    Thanks thirdwind
     
  11. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    I believe, reading from reviews, that Shattered, the upcoming release of the third Iron Druid Chronicles (7th in the series) is supposed to use three POVs (probably first person POV, if Kevin Hearne sticks to what he's used in the past). I guess he is going to have a picture that represents Atticus, Granuaile or Owen Kennedy, at the beginning of each chapter to denote whose POV is repressed.

    While a chapter title or an image can be used, the beginning of a chapter can be crafted such that the reader immediately knows who's POV is being used, and is common place.

    The choice is wide open, depending on the choice and writing style of the writer.
     
  12. john132

    john132 New Member

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    For Lonesome Dove, the author Larry McMurtry doesn't use any chapter titles and he changes POV nearly every chapter.
     
  13. Fizzedine

    Fizzedine Member

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    Cheers guys :)
     
  14. Motley

    Motley Active Member

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    I find conversations about naming chapters, or otherwise indicating something about them with text to be highly interesting because the thought never occurs to me. I just have Chapter One, Chapter Two, etc. I do write longer works primarily in multiple close 3rd POV. I think I'll go back and make sure it's instantly apparent whose POV each one is in, or perhaps this type of naming method would work.
     
  15. Fizzedine

    Fizzedine Member

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    well my idea is based on moments in time but from the view point of different characters so it made sense to use this convention, possibly. Plus I just finished "A song of ice and fire" so that was an influence ;)
     

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