1. rybowman

    rybowman New Member

    Jan 8, 2010
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    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by rybowman, Mar 16, 2010.

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to the site and have been browsing a lot of different sections...really good stuff so far.

    Anyway, I have a question regarding Point of View. I'm about 15,000 words in to my first novel and have found an inconsistency with my POV.

    At times it seems strictly narrative, while at others it is more omniscient; that is, I am allowing the reader to "enter the minds" of the characters.

    I have a decent understanding of the different points of view, but was hoping for some opinions and how it would affect my story.

    The story revolves around three main characters and multiple secondary characters. Character development is very important to the story so I am asking for your advice as to which one might work better.

    Does narrative work better with multiple main characters? If I use narrative, what are the best tools to let the reader "get to know the characters"? Dialogue?

    An advantage I see of omniscient is that the reader can know the characters's thoughts. But is it maybe too much?

    Finally, on top of your opinions, can any of you maybe offer an example of a novel that is following the lives of multiple separate characters where either POV is used?

    I know it's a lot...thanks in advance!
  2. arron89

    arron89 Banned

    Oct 10, 2008
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    You seem kinda confused about what POV actually is...
    First, it can either be first person or third person...first s when the narrator is inside the mind of the main character and speaks/narrates as that character. Third person is when the narrator is disembodied and narrating the actions of a third party/parties.

    Narrative can also either be omniscient, which means that literally everything is known to the narrator (which has profound implications that most writers seem oblivious to...) or limited, in which the narrative is limited to only what one particular character knows/experiences. All of the POVS above enable you to narrate a character's thoughts.

    Third person omniscient is by far the most flexible of the options, encompassing all the possibilities of first/third person limited as well as extending beyond their range. In my opinion, third person omni is the best choice for stories with multiple main characters and shifting viewpoints, although The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis is a good example of a novel that switches between characters/viewpoints while remaining in first person.
  3. MsMyth71

    MsMyth71 New Member

    Jan 29, 2010
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    Fort Collins, CO
    I'm ok with 3rd person Omniscient POVs, as long as they're consistent and done well. If you're heavy into one character's perspective through 95% then you switch to another character's POV for a few lines, it's jarring.

    I think it's ok to have varying layers of close psychic distance (I'm in your head!) and far psychic distance (I have no idea what you're thinking, but I see the scene/actions). If you stay too close all the time, it might get a little claustrophobic.

    I'd be happy to look at a few paragraphs if you want to PM me?
  4. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
  5. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon

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