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  1. Seren

    Seren Writeaholic

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    Romance Romance POVs

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by Seren, Sep 2, 2018.

    Hello, everyone! I'm planning a romance, and I'm trying to decide whether to only narrate from the heroine's POV (in first-person) or the heroine and hero's POVs (in third-person). Obviously, a lot of it depends on my plot -- which I haven't actually got a terribly good grasp on yet :pity: -- so I'm largely just interested in what you generally prefer to see and why. (For me to then consider as I plot more, and for anyone else in the same boat.)

    Do you prefer to read romances narrated by one or both (or all, where applicable) participants?
     
  2. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    First person POV is a total no-go for me as a reader, so based on your specific set of choices I would absolutely prefer the second option.

    That said, I enjoy romances written from a single POV in third person limited as well as dual POV's. As someone who's written both ways, it can be a little more challenging with a single POV to get the feelings of the other romantic lead across, but it certainly can be done.

    The only advice I would have is that if you do both POVs, try to have them somewhat equitably distributed through the book - otherwise it may appear as if the less featured character's POV is only popping in when it's convenient. This was a major issue with my first accepted manuscript and I wound up having to entirely get rid of the 2nd POV during the editing process, which was super painful. 10/10 would not recommend.
     
    John Calligan and Seren like this.
  3. Seren

    Seren Writeaholic

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    I love first person when there's a strong voice, but sometimes it doesn't jive with me, so I can understand your dislike of it. Thanks for the tip -- if I do choose to have two narrators, I'll make sure they tell the story (roughly) equally.
     
  4. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    It's definitely a personal preference for me - there are tons of readers who either love or don't mind it!

    I don't like it because it puts me in the protagonist's shoes instead of being an observer, which makes me nuts. I can't read something like "I was raised in California for most of my life" without my brain instantly saying "WTF, that so did not happen!"
     
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  5. GB reader

    GB reader Contributor Contributor

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    First. I have never written a novel. I have only done a few romantic practise shorts.

    Most of them has been in close third. But I had one go with two POVs.

    I felt I could much better show/tell what/who both characters are. A reader will know both characters. I rea─║y loved that. But I had problems when both are on stage, interacting. In these scenes I had no POV at all. And I didn't like that. No doubt you can be better at this. I will practice more.


    But, I so liked the possibility to show both characters that I went back to one of my other stories that was a single POV story. This time it was from his POV. Just for practice I added [between square brackets, thoughts and observations from her, the non POV character].

    I found that.

    1. Many times I could easily do that. I knew what she saw/felt/thought. But unfortunately many times I couldn't come up with anything. I had actually written that part as if she was a lamp post. Bad, bad, bad.

    2. Reading the complete story (with the square bracket stuff) makes it slow as they will think/react on the same things, sometimes the same sometimes slightly different. But one view would be enough to forward the story.

    Although I loved the two POVs. I am not good enough to handle scenes where they both are present. For the moment I will have to stick to one POV. We will not know the other character as well, and I must make sure there are no interactions with lamp posts.

    Maybe I should follow the advice I got here a few days ago. Write omniscient.


    I wouldn't even try first person.
     
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  6. Seren

    Seren Writeaholic

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    Interesting exercise -- I'd better make sure I never write a lamp post character in a scene, either! :D

    I'll also consider how having two POVs might affect the pace I want for the story (when I've worked that out).
     
  7. Damien Loveshaft

    Damien Loveshaft Active Member

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    As much as I adore First POV with a strong narrative voice and purpose (like unreliable narrators). I think romances are often more interesting if you follow both protagonists and their individual struggles more equally. It makes me happy to see them both grow. As a guy I guess I just also tend to relate with the hero a lot so maybe take my preference with a grain of salt since I'm not the average romance reader (a southern woman in her 50s right?).
     
  8. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I like third person pov only because first person in romance can get so psychotic, or whinny. Nobody thinks about someone that much. Especially when other things like promotions or dinner gets in the way. I like third person best. If you're going to do a swapped pov it can get tricky. Because it can literally have duplicate scenes -- what did he think of meeting her, what did she think of meeting him -- too much of that gets annoying so there has to be a real balance over who gets what scene -- though one of my favorite romances The Endearment by LaVyrle Spencer did this technique really well if I'm not mistaken.
     
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  9. hyacinthe

    hyacinthe Senior Member

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    I despise duplicated scenes. they're a waste of page space.

    pick whichever perspective suits the story you're trying to tell, but dual 3rd person is extremely popular.
     
  10. Cass Parker

    Cass Parker New Member

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    I tend to write in first person pov. I alternate between lead characters at the beginning of each chapter. I once tried first person pov with three characters and only switched to the third character when necessary. That was a disaster. I recommend having no more than two characters in first person pov and never switch between first person and third person pov.
     
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  11. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

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    Might depend on the sub genre. In some (like reverse harem) I think multiple POVs make it easier to get to know all the love interests. It's almost essential for a good reverse harem, though not all the time.

    Also, I prefer first person.
     
  12. LoaDyron

    LoaDyron Contributor Contributor

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    Hello friend. :superhello:

    Why not from both sides? Because if you limit yourself from one side, how are we readers suppose to relate or create connects to the other character? Of course, this is up to you at the end of the day, but at least the readers will have time to invest in both characters.

    Now... if you should write in first or third perspective. There's no answer for that I'm afraid. I believe it is just a preference. My advice is to write a page on both styles and see which one do you think it works best.

    I hope this helps. Keep on good work and have fun. :superagree:
     

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