The Point of View questions thread

Discussion in 'Character Development' started by SB108, Jul 8, 2007.

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  1. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    Seconding @jannert , with the caveat of genre. In the genre Memoir, using 3rd would 'diminish' the experience. There might be other genres where 1st person is expected by the reader. Authenticity has nothing to do with the type of voice you're writing in. Use smells, landscape, little details like the type of litter lying in the gutter or the smell of croisants in the morning to ground the reader in the country.

    Offtopic: I'd caution against being mistrustful of every critiquer like Radrock said. I have never run across someone who gave me bad advice, and usually people who offer to critique have a passing understanding of language. We all appreciate words, so you probably won't run across morons who write only in grunts and farts during a critique. And that's enough said about it.
     
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  2. LazyBear

    LazyBear Active Member

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    I'd gladly simplify my writing if it would gain popularity among average non-native readers and the mentally disabled. They are the customers after all.
     
  3. ILIAD HAEMIN

    ILIAD HAEMIN New Member

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    My favorite type of writing is confusing. It's like i'm in a tavern telling a story in third person. i don't know it it has a name.
     
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  4. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    13c Tavernica prose.
     
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  5. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Thy rod and thy Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Callahan's style? From Spider Robinson's Callahan's Crosstime Saloon series :)
     
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  6. ILIAD HAEMIN

    ILIAD HAEMIN New Member

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    Possible. Haven't read it. My country has it's own example author for this style. We call it story within a story.
    But thanks for the recomandation. I'll look it up and i'll get back to you if it's what i meant.
     
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  7. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Senior Member

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    I would think this thread is more suited to the General Writing section than the Character Development section.
     
  8. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Thy rod and thy Staff Supporter Contributor

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    A thread that's been around longer than @Wreybies, with nearly 2000 posts spanning 79 pages, at a time when we've been actively trying to reduce the amount of stuff in General Writing?

    Unlikely :)
     
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  9. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    It was moved here from the general writing section. (or more accurately a thread from Gw was merged with an equally large one that was already here). Who's head you are in, if anyone, informs how you develop those characters.

    Its not a perfect fit in either place - but our preference is for as few threads as possible in GW so it will remain here at least until the owner creates another board where it would be a better fit
     
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  10. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It is, at least, a sticky thread, so it should be easily spotted.
     
  11. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Senior Member

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    That's a big stretch imo. But since every moderator seems to believe it should be here, I'm sure it's staying.
     
  12. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah. At least it's a sticky, so the topic can be easily spotted. It's not ideal, as @big soft moose said, but it's the best we can do at the moment—until the software changes and we are allowed to add or change subsections, etc.

    General Writing became such a dog's breakfast and catch-all that it became impossible to find what was wanted. We certainly don't want to go back to filling it up again, after the volunteers spent so much time cleaning it out. Anyway....
     
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  13. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Senior Member

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    I'm under the impression that GW is suppose to serve as a catch-all for writing topics that don't neatly fit anywhere else. Am I mistaken?
     
  14. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Kinda.... :)

    It's a thread that is too open for interpretation. Consequently got filled with lots of stuff that actually DID clearly belong elsewhere. And it's still being worked on and revamped.

    Meanwhile, you have that sticky thread....
     
  15. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Indeed - but this thread does fit relatively neatly into character development so it doesn't belong in GW

    The problem is that being a 'threads that don't fit anywhere else' area is different from being 'put every thread on anything you want here'

    put it this way when we started moving thread out of GW it was at 10k, its now a tad under 2.5k - that's seven thousand five hundred threads that should have been in other forums (admittedly some were started before the forums in question were created but many weren't)

    However the question of why this thread is where it is, and why it's going to stay there has now been asked and answered so lets get back on topic.
     
  16. The Bishop

    The Bishop Member

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    I have an idea of starting my book off in the first person and following one character for the first forty pages or so, having the reader tricked into to thinking that they're the main character, up until the point they die and the actual story begins. After they die the remainder of the story, and the majority is told in the third person omniscient. Is this bad or good? Would it work or just confuse the reader?
     
  17. Maverick_nc

    Maverick_nc Active Member

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    It wasn't first person but George Martin used a similar trick, we all assumed Ned Stark was the MC in 'A song of Ice and Fire', right up until he got his head lopped off.
     
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  18. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    It won't confuse the readers. Readers are smart. If you have a good reason for doing--even that it's just your artistic vision of the story--I think it's fine. If the purpose is to "trick" the reader, then I have to wonder why you want to trick them.
     
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  19. Gary Wed

    Gary Wed Active Member

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    You've filled me with questions. 1st off, why omniscience? Since I have no idea what your story is, it's genre, it's layout and plot approach, I'm useless toward helping you there, but omniscience seems to stick out and should have a reason. Specifically, why do we need to yield the camera to an invisible but presence-felt external narrator. at all?

    The other thing, about starting 40 pages of 1st person and lying to the reader is likely not a good idea. Where is the story promise in that? And I'd really want to know why we aren't honest up front about our work and engage it from either multiple limited 3rd or some form of omniscience. (It is an issue of honesty to a reader who is told one truth for 40 pages, then abandoned to a different view in an unexpected manner.) For example, in omniscience limited form, you are able to push that camera right into the hands of a grounded viewpoint and walk it.

    The next question relates to why again. We have a form called multiple limited, wherein you are perfectly capable of being so present with the viewpoint that it is absolutely equal to 1st person form (in skilled hands). That said, you could do the whole book in multiple limited form and take care to engage viewpoint as closely as possible, making both the swing to 1st person and omniscience moot.

    Then again, I don't know your story, nor do I know if you have some desperate need for an external narrator, so yet again questions persist.
     
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  20. The Bishop

    The Bishop Member

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    I choose omniscience because for my story I need to multiple perspectives, in fact, it is almost all perspectives in order to allow the reader to understand every motive and all the reasoning. I don't want the reader left wondering about anything the happens in the story. No loopholes or anything like that.
     
  21. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I think readers like to be surprised, but I'm not so sure they like to be tricked. And I think there is a difference. What you're talking about is not an approach I would take. It's hard enough to write a novel and pull off a good story. Tricks aren't always needed and they don't always help. Just my thoughts on this.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
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  22. Gary Wed

    Gary Wed Active Member

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    Multiple perspectives are deliverable via multiple limited, so I'm still not sure you are clear on what you what. Still not knowing what your story is, I do find it interesting that you want the reader to directly know every motivation by every character in real time. There may be circumstances when that works in your favor, but I can't think of any I have ever read. There is value to ambiguity, and a ton of value to writing in ways that allow us to see a character's motivation without being directly told it with multiple head dumps.

    I suppose I'm just trying to answer your original question by challenging this whole concept.
     
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  23. The Bishop

    The Bishop Member

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    Tricked was the wrong word. That's my bad. I would say it's more of an introduction to the fact that everyone in the story is liable to be killed off at any time. It doesn't matter if they are one of the main characters or not. That's the reasoning behind my killing him off.
     
  24. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    It seems like everyone on here is lately all about killing off their characters. What's up with that? Maybe it's a genre thing, but still I do read genre and I much rather read a story without so much death. Death gets boring, in my opinion. I'm just going to let my characters live forever. ;)
     
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  25. The Bishop

    The Bishop Member

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    I had no idea everyone was killing off their characters
     

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