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Some Writing Advice I found...


Brayon

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It cracks me up that it needs to be specified that you shouldn't KILL someone in real life! LOL! Disclaimers are necessary, I guess! :P

 

The only one I don't agree with is switching the POV. I think, if your story is going to be a multiple POV story, then you should establish that right away in the first chapter. Don't just write a story one way, and then take a total left turn in order to keep it going. I think I'd find that jarring. That's not to say that multiple POVs are unfavorable. It's just...set the tone right away. Don't write four or five chapters, and then just flip the switch on your readers. Hehehe, that would be rude. :P 

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I head hop in third person all the time within chapters but in different scenes. I'm writing a First-Person PoV now, which I will be swapping heads for chapters, not scenes. First 2 chapters are off to the editor, the third is being written.

 

I like head-hopping as I feel it completes the story, regardless of PoV.

 

Also, yes... it's a sad world we live in where there have to be disclaimers on stuff like, "Don't Kill People," "Don't Eat TIDE Pods."

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  • 2 years later...
On 7/20/2018 at 11:25 PM, Comicality said:

It cracks me up that it needs to be specified that you shouldn't KILL someone in real life! LOL! Disclaimers are necessary, I guess! :P

 

The only one I don't agree with is switching the POV. I think, if your story is going to be a multiple POV story, then you should establish that right away in the first chapter. Don't just write a story one way, and then take a total left turn in order to keep it going. I think I'd find that jarring. That's not to say that multiple POVs are unfavorable. It's just...set the tone right away. Don't write four or five chapters, and then just flip the switch on your readers. Hehehe, that would be rude. :P 

Being able to switch the point of view is what an omniscient third-person narrator is for.  However, if you want me to stop reading right away, switch first-person narrators.  One story forced me to stop reading by changing narrators from one sentence to the next.  Even if you set it up with each chapter being by a different narrator, it is so jarring it drives me crazy, and I can no longer continue the story.  I can't imagine that I am so unique that there aren't other readers who feel this way.

The only way I can see first-person switches being smooth is inside an epistolary framework, or something similar.  Arthur C. Clarke did a few stories this way that work pretty well.  The disadvantage is that you lose some of the immediacy that first-person narration usually provides.

I can, however, see switching point of view as a useful exercise when blocked, just not for publication.

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On 1/30/2021 at 9:11 AM, BigBen said:

Being able to switch the point of view is what an omniscient third-person narrator is for.  However, if you want me to stop reading right away, switch first-person narrators.  One story forced me to stop reading by changing narrators from one sentence to the next.  Even if you set it up with each chapter being by a different narrator, it is so jarring it drives me crazy, and I can no longer continue the story.  I can't imagine that I am so unique that there aren't other readers who feel this way.

The only way I can see first-person switches being smooth is inside an epistolary framework, or something similar.  Arthur C. Clarke did a few stories this way that work pretty well.  The disadvantage is that you lose some of the immediacy that first-person narration usually provides.

I can, however, see switching point of view as a useful exercise when blocked, just not for publication.

I definitely agree with...ALL of that! Hehehe! :) 

I do like writing in the third person as well, as I feel it gives me much more freedom to do things with the characters that I simply can't do in first person. For some odd reason, I feel like it takes a bit of extra work to sort of view everybody from an elevated point of view and keep it all straight, but for some stories it's so worth it. Now, I don't like changing POVs when writing in first person, because I get confused. And if I'm confused, my readers are probably twice as such. So I avoid doing that in a single story. BUT...I've written separate 'companion' stories that are both told in first person and connect so readers can get a broader view of the whole story without me flipping back and forth between narrators. For example, I have an ensemble cast for a story I'm writing called, "Shelter", with different people sort of sharing or trading the main focus from chapter to chapter. But I created a series of prequel spinoffs for each one of them. They are each written in first person, and exist as separate stories all on their own that explains their backstory and how they all arrived in the same place. That way, I can concentrate on the main story from one point of view, but all of the other characters have a fleshed out origin of their own. So THAT I can do with no problem. But yeah, the whole flip flop thing...that'll spin out of my control really fast. Hehehe! 

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I think it takes a while to figure out what works best for us with regard to our writing choices. I started out writing third person omniscient. and while I found the freedom of that natural and even intoxicating, I also began to see the drawbacks after a time. Yes, it requires a bit more discipline(IMO--don't bite my head off) to write third person limited, but, for me, it just feels right. It took some work to make the switch become second nature, having to be on guard not to let snippets of another POV slip into the narration and dialogue descriptions in all the little ways it can, but now it is as natural as breathing, and I feel the same freedom I had with third person omniscient. It just requires different tactics to show the same things.

As far as head hopping in third person limited, I'm no longer a a fan of it within chapters, even if clearly identified. But, there are times in a story when I think switching POVs from one chapter to another can really benefit a story. I usually write a story from one POV, but occasionally(read as seldom), I will write a chapter in a different POV(clearly identified from the beginning words) to give some balance and a better understanding of that 'secondary' character. I feel that worked well for me when I used it in Morningstar to give us a glimpse into Tobyn's mind. I think maybe two of fifty-six chapters were from his POV.

As comfortable as I am with third person limited, I do like writing in first person, but yeah, I can't see switching POVs in first. Still, we authors all have our different ways for doing things, and the proof is in the pudding. Cheers!

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  • 1 year later...

The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne is written in a way that each chapter, starting around the third book, head hops between first-person characters on each chapter. Something that I am experimenting with currently, in a unreleased story I'm working on. The way Hearne does it, and I'm attempting to, is each person is telling a piece of the overall story. For example, Russell is in Earth's orbit, and is about to go on a mission. Chapter 1 is about him departing, and chapter 2 is about the first part of that mission. Connor is back on Earth and gets told in Chapter 3 that he is now in Witness Protection, as assassins are after him. Chapter 4 is back to Russell finding what is needed to stop Connor from being assassinated. etc. etc. etc. The overall story is progressing in a linear fashion, X happens, then Y, then Z, but X, Y, and Z are in different places, and the Character in X doesn't know what is happening in Y. Episodic, in a way, but gels perfectly.

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