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Dual Points of View

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  • #146213
    Grace Benham
    @gbfruitbat

    Hey, so I had this story idea that I want to write with two different points of view alternating.  Is it weird or confusing to go from first person for one character to third person for the other character?  I don’t know if there’s a way for that to work out, or if I should just avoid that altogether.  Any advice would be great 🙂

    This is perhaps the greatest risk any of us will ever take: to be seen as we truly are.

    #146247
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @gbfruitbat

    Hi Grace!

    My previous project was written from dual points of view, and so is my next one.

    I wrote both perspectives in first person, with names at the beginning of the chapter. I did have several chapters from other points of view than the main two, and those were in third person.

    Is it weird or confusing to go from first person for one character to third person for the other character?  I don’t know if there’s a way for that to work out, or if I should just avoid that altogether.

    I don’t see any reason why it couldn’t work! I’ve read it before and it worked fine.

    The biggest difference between the two is that third person tends to have a larger narrative distance, so it’ll feel less connected to the reader. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it’s something you can play around with.

    I found dual points of view very fun to write. Seeing the character from an outside perspective is always interesting, and so are intertwining stories.

    Do pay attention, they tend to fill up a book quickly. My first book was only around 90k with one narrator, and the second was over 130k even though the plot wasn’t more complex.

    And if you have parts where the characters are seperated, it could be easier to plot them seperately, just making the overlap the same.

    I always make two outlines and then alternate them, though I sometimes write two chapters in one point of view if I need to make it fit a timeline neatly. On that note, use a timeline, map out the days, especially if they’re seperated for parts of it or if the story lasts more than a few days.

    Besides that, you have lots of room to play around with character voices! This was one of the parts I enjoyed most, since I had two very different voices for the characters, since they were basically polar opposites.

    That’s all I can think of, I hope it helps!

     

    Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?

    #146250
    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    @gbfruitbat I wrote a 3rd person pov book with several POV characters. At first, readers struggled to relate to the main character. I tried switching his scenes to first person as one tactic to help readers relate to him better. I know one guy who didn’t like it, but almost everyone thought it improved the story.

    Most writers who only have two POV characters would opt to keep them both in first or third. Dual first person pov stories are pretty popular.

    That doesn’t mean you couldn’t try it through. The main question is why you want to do it.

    If you decide to go forward with it, I would write a couple chapters from both povs, then get feedback on it before you write the whole book that way.

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    #146260
    Grace Benham
    @gbfruitbat

    @rose-colored-fancy and @daeus-lamb thanks for the help!  I wanted third person for one because he’s less of a personal character so it almost feels invasive to do first-person if that makes any sense.

    If you decide to go forward with it, I would write a couple chapters from both povs, then get feedback on it before you write the whole book that way.

    Good idea; I’ll try that.

    This is perhaps the greatest risk any of us will ever take: to be seen as we truly are.

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