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Hey, wait a sec, this is third person!

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TheZot

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I always forget that, especially when writing about Ben and William.

 

One of the cardinal sins of writing in the first person is switching points of view. You need to pick one character and stick with him or her -- no changing in the middle. Yes, I know a lot of 'net fiction does this, but it just doesn't work. (If it did you'd see it in commercial fiction, something I had pointed out to me once. I've read exactly two books that have done this, and it didn't work well in either. And if Dianna Wynne Jones can't pull it off, what hope does J. Random NetAuthor have?)

 

I'm used to writing first person, even though I actually don't -- Yankee was first person, but that's it.

 

Doesn't mean I don't think in the first person, which gets me in trouble. When I plot out Ben and William's stories, it's always from William's perspective. (I expect anyone who knows me reasonably well could offer appropriate pithy comments on my character about that, but we'll not go there right now) Except, of course, the stories aren't told from William's POV, they're told from over his shoulder.

 

Which means I can tell them from over Ben's shoulder, too. Even if he is kinda reluctant to say much. That makes dealing with some of the bits of Wild Life a whole lot easier. Including some of the bits that Dio, once upon a time, rightly poked at and noted didn't work.

 

Yes, this was something of a revelation. Go figure. :)

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All the best revelations are simple ones. :)

 

I'd advise you to be careful about omniscient and limited third person POV, though. If done badly that can feel as jerked-about as alternating first person POV's.

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The POV shift point is very well taken, and one I try hard to be careful with -- I plop the camera on one character's shoulder or another at the start of a chapter and leave it there. May not be the most sophisticated way to handle it, but it seems an un-jarring way to handle it.

 

Maybe some day I'll get fancy, but for now this works for me. (Whether it works for everyone else is a separate question, of course...)

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