1. blklizard

    blklizard Member

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    Writing through the Generations

    Discussion in 'Novels' started by blklizard, Nov 29, 2016.

    Hi everyone,

    I am trying to write a novel that will encompass several generations of a family. The protagonists will always be the head of the family.

    I was wondering if there are certain rules and structures to keep in mind when I write this. I am still a relatively inexperienced writer so I can use all the help I can get.

    Some immediate questions I have are the following. Should I give the protagonists roughly same amount of spotlight or should I make it so their duration as the head is reflected (shorter reign means less spotlight)? Does third person limited and first person POV both work? If so, then which is recommended?

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. EnginEsq

    EnginEsq Member

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    How much time a character should get is determined by what they do or have happen to them as part of the story. Some generations may have nice quiet lives, and get only passing mention. Others may live in the middle of, say, a violent revolution, and consume half the story.
     
  3. Patsy

    Patsy Member

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    I agree with EnginEsq - how much space a character is given should depend on how much story they have to share.

    As for 1st and 3rd person, yes they can both work very well in the right story. Using 1st for a variety of characters might be confusing for the reader. That's not to say it couldn't work, but you'd need to take care to clearly differentiate the characters.
     
  4. terobi

    terobi Senior Member

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    I would very, very much avoid using the first person perspective for multiple POVs unless you are writing it as an epistolary. It's very confusing for a reader to read half a dozen different characters as "I", because they forget whose head they're supposed to be in.
     
  5. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    The biggest challenge in writing multiple POVs in 1st person is that the voices have to be distinctly different. Moreover, for each change of POV (and voice) you will need to have a clear marker alerting the reader to this fact. Obviously, the more "voices" you have the more confusing it can get. So, I strongly recommend 3rd person limited.
     
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