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  1. Alise

    Alise Member

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    POV struggling

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Alise, Aug 9, 2019.

    Hello writers,

    I have finished writing My YA fantasy novel. It is about 105.000 word.
    So rewriting such a novel will be along journey, but I am willing to do it, if there is no other option.

    My problem is with POVs

    I started the novel with my character’s POV, with her own words and feelings, until the end of chapter 1.
    Starting from chapter two, I used limited third-person POV, for about two pages, and shifted back to my character again.

    The whole novel I am focusing on my character, and I used the third person POV in limited paragraphs.

    For example, I started chapter one with Katniss Everdeen, started chapter two with president snow.

    To make it more clear: chapter one, Katniss said " I wake up.... Until I want to volunteer.
    Chapter two starts with: president snow saw the girl who wants to volunteer.
    We spend Two paragraphs with him, and we shift back again to Katniss until chapter four.

    Now, I don't know if there are novels written this way, I read novels that writer switch the POV in each chapter, but in my novel, I don't have much to write about others for a whole chapter.

    I can simply rewrite my novel using only Third limited, but I want the readers to get so close to my character.

    If my way doesn't work, I will rewrite the whole novel again.
    Any suggestions will be helpful.
     
  2. grayj0265

    grayj0265 Member

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    Stupid Question coming up what is a POV? Is it point of view? You may want to state that someplace if that it what it is.

    Second, when I am changing points of view, I often find myself not rewriting to story, just changing prospective. I hope this helps.
     
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  3. Alise

    Alise Member

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    Yes
    yes yes! It is a point of view. I am not rewriting the same events from another point of view, just telling other events in someplace that my character doesn't know about, but the readers have to know.
     
  4. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The question isn't whether you can do it ...of course you can. The question is: does it work?

    The only way you'll find out (and congratulations for finishing, by the way!) is to polish it up a bit, then give it to a couple of beta readers. If they don't have a problem with the way you've handled POV, then you are probably okay. If they do have a problem—possibly related to getting jerked in and out of different heads, present and past tense, AND first/third person perspective—you might need to consider revising a bit.

    There are quite a few ways to deal with POV, but because you chose to write the story this way for a good reason, give it a chance. Let a few people read it, and see what they think.
     
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  5. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You mean you wrote in first person in chapter one and then third person in chapter two. And mixing these in a single book has indeed been done. I think James Patterson did it with one of his sci-fi books but I've forgotten the name - the one about characters with wings. However I've never seen the point of that. To me, the two are basically a stylistic difference - the voices are different and create different feelings. But the same thing can basically be achieved with both.

    In any case, I don't understand your dilemma. Mixing first and third persons is done, though rarely. That it's done rarely may be a sign that it's something best avoided unless you're experienced and know what you're doing. But whether it's ok to do it? Yeah, sure. Only question is: how well have you done it?
     
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  6. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sometimes what you think will work just ...doesn't.

    I remember having the clever idea, when writing the first draft of my novel, to present a few of the same events from two different points of view. How wonderful it will be, I thought, to let readers inside the heads of two different characters. Two different perspectives. Makes perfect sense, right? What's not to like?

    Except ...it didn't work. As soon as the readers figured out they were getting a replay of a scene they'd already experienced once, they got annoyed. I had to go back and remove all the replays. But which POV to keep? I had to choose which character's POV best fit my purpose for that scene. That—and a little tweaking to make the other character's reaction clear—did the trick.

    My point is, your idea might be good, but the finished article might not work. You can think, 'Oh, if I show Katniss using first person present, this means the reader will feel close to her.' That's your plan, so you write in first person present. It might work. It might not work. The only way to find out if it did work is ...ask. Let your beta readers tell you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
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  7. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I don't even have to read it to say I think mixing first and third the way you're doing it is a big mistake. I imagine it would be quite jarring and confusing. There is a reason you don't usually see this in books. I have read books where the whole thing might be in first and then there is a chapter in third where the narrator is not present. And doesn't one of Faulkner's books do something like this? Her has each chapter in third focusing on a different character and then the last chapter is in first by one of the character. Help me out if anyone know what I'm talking about. It's going to drive me nuts not recalling the story I'm thinking about.

    Anyway, I honestly don't think what you're doing works so well or is going to work. Your story is going to lack consistency if you stick with this and voice is going to be all over the place just as much as your POV is. I would use your second draft to clean this matter up and stick to a method that's known to work. If you keep on this way throughout your second draft, I would think that would probably just waste time and not really doing anything to actually fix a problem you're eventually going to need to take care of before you start contacting agents and publishers. If I was you, I would dedicate my second draft to fixing your POV issue since that's where your biggest problem probably is. Just my thoughts on this, but I really can't imagine what you're doing is working and I can't see myself trying to read this sort of story. It sounds like it would be a big distraction from what's important which is the actual story. Tricks like this can feel sort of gimmicky even when they d work, and anything that feels like a gimmick to me is a distraction from the story in my opinion.
     
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  8. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Hemingway does this in To Have and Have Not (sorry to keep banging on about that book) and it's one of the most frustrating reads ever - utterly void of immersion.

    I agree with @Mckk - you're jumping in at the deep end... without any armbands... and some bricks tied to your ankles...
     
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  9. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Supporter Contributor

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    I second having Beta readers decide whether it works or not. And if it doesn't, ask which character's POV they most want to read. That will show where they're invested, and where you as a writer should invest your time.
     
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  10. Alise

    Alise Member

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    Thank you Everyone, that was really helpful.
    I decided to go with first person point of view, and I will see how it goes.
     
  11. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    If I may add, I wrote a novel in first person which desperately needed a change in POV, so I did just that. I added a chapter in the husbands’ POV but still in first person.
     

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