I'm a beginner at writing and am currently trying to write a more or less long story. Now the problem that I have is, that two of my Characters(a guy and a girl) are attacked in a Park and I'm not sure how to show the scene not focused on just one but both characters on the same time.

In the scene they were captured while eavesdropping and the leader of the bad guys switches between the two until he gives some order and starts to talk to the guy, while the girl is getting forcefully undressed.

How can I write about the conversation and the action in a way, that the reader sees these two things at the same time?

My native language is german so my english might not be that good, but I hope you understand what I'm asking for.

3 Answers 3


In general, you should keep the point of view to one character per scene or section in order to avoid confusion. This can be done in first-person (I) or third-person limited (he/she). In both cases, you are adopting a character's voice.

It sounds like you want to do third-person omniscient, in which you adopt an author's voice and act as an observer of all the action. One of most top-of-mind example I have is Charles Dickens - whose novels feature perspectives from multiple characters. However, you should note that even though the author can delve into the minds of multiple characters, it's usually still limited to one character per section or one character per scene.

Here's a fairly straightforward overview on points of view:


There are few options you can consider. You can either write this scene from one of the character's points-of-view (let's say the guy), and have them observe what happens to other character (the girl). In this case, you'll have to choose which character is more important.

If you'd like to do third-person omniscient, then I would make two scenes: one from the guy's point of view where the leader is speaking to him, and another one from the girl's point of view where she waits to see or hear what the guy's next action is going to be.


I have two comments, of which one will address your question, and the other will address the reception of your work.

The trick that I've found to any scene is to start very deeply grounded in one character's point of view. You have to imagine that we can only hear the thoughts in one character's mind, only see things from their perspective. Now, who should that character be? Your protagonist? The guy? The girl?

If you are writing a short story, they are most often told from only a single point-of-view (POV). So you should stick with the same POV character throughout, whoever that is. If you have a novel, you can do multiple point-of-view characters, but that's doesn't mean infinite. It means you can pick two or three.

If you have multiple options (e.g. if all of these three characters appear in many scenes and any could be a valid point-of-view character), then usually it makes sense to take the point-of-view of the character with the most to lose. So probably the guy or the girl, depending on where the emotional stakes are highest.

Now that you've decided on your POV character, you must tell the scene from their perspective. What they see, what they feel. This forces limitations on the story. If you tell the story from the point of view of the girl, but she's in a different room than the guy, then she can't know what's happening to him. This might seem hard to deal with, but that's the challenge you have to address as a writer.

Now a comment on your plot: If the only purpose the girl serves is to be forcibly undressed, then you are underutilizing that character. In fact, the scene sounds very cliche. Both the cliche and the threat of rape (realized or not) is going to turn off some or many readers.

What if the scene was reversed? What if the guy is being forced to undress? (Does that make you uncomfortable? Then imagine how your female readers feel.)

There are many, many ways you can raise the stakes that don't depend on a rape to demean a woman. Be creative!


I won't write the exact story you are talking about but here's a sample with multiple characters and different viewpoint and a possible way of handling the situation. See what you think.

John opened the door and Mr. Maruzzi walked in followed by Lenny. John stared at Lenny too long as he thought about how much he looked like a huge gorilla stuffed into an expensive suit.

"What," Lenny said.

"That's a really nice suit," John said. "Where'd you get it?"

"Thanks. Picked it up at - "

"Enough. We ain't here to talk about no suit," Mr. Maruzzi said. "Where's Diego? The kid with you?"

John motioned toward the room down the hall. "He's getting his stuff."

"So you're both, here, right," Maruzzi asked.

John wanted to say something along the lines of 'Captain Obvious', but then thought about Maruzzi and looked up at Lenny and thought better of it. "Yeah, he'll be out." Then he yelled down the hall, "Diego, we got visitors."

The door at the end of the hallway opened and Diego stepped out.

Maruzzi said, "Now" and Lenny pulled out large pistol and waved it at Diego.

"Be so kind as to take a seat in here with us, all right, kid," Maruzzi said. Then he pointed at John, "Take a seat. We are going to have us a discussion."

Diego walked in and sat down on the couch.

John sat down next to him. He looked at the coffee table where a pack of Marlboro cigarettes lay. He nodded his head toward them. "Mind if I smoke while we talk."

"Suit yourself," Maruzzi said.

John picked up the pack, lit one and drew in the smoke, trying to stay cool.

"What's up," Diego asked. "Is there a problem."

"There is a problem, kid," Maruzzi said. "I need to know where the money is."

John took another long drag on the cigarette. "We have it hidden to insure our safety."

"Well, you see," Maruzzi said and looked at Lenny. "It's just that Lenny gets a little nervious. He starts thinking maybe you guys ain't even got the money."

"We've got the money," John said.

"Tell me where it is then," Maruzzi said.

"I can tell -", Diego said.

"Shut up, kid," John said. "Are you an idiot? You tell them where it is and we're dead." Lenny grabbed John by the neck and pressed the gun barrel into his cheek.

"As you can see Lenny is ready to terminate our little contract," Maruzzi said. "I suggest you shut up while Diego tells us where the money is."

"Uh, I..." Diego stuttered.

"A little shy, Diego? Tell you what. Lenny will take you into the other room and have a conversation with you privately." Maruzzi pulled out his own pistol and pointed at John. "I'll keep an eye on him, while you do your work, Lenny."

Lenny pushed John down to the floor and grabbed Diego and shoved him toward the room down the hallway.

"Now, he goes to work," Maruzzi said.

John's eyes flashed toward the fire escape as he thought about a way to escape.

Maruzzi saw him and adjusted his aim. "Don't even think about making a break. I'm good shot. I'm always down at the range practicing."

John heard the Diego's screams as Lenny went to work on him. It wouldn't be much longer and the kid would talk or he would be unconscious or worse and it would be his turn for the torture.

You could now switch the scene to Diego and Lenny right here. You really don't want to flip to the other character's viewpoint without actually switching scenes. Otherwise readers may get confused about whose story it really is.

Here's an example which

Switches Viewpoint Too Much

Lenny grabbed John's right hand and pulled on the thumb. John screamed and he heard a loud snap and knew his thumb was broken. Lenny let go and the thumb dangled. Diego stared the thumb and thought he should just tell them where the money was, but didn't know if they would kill him anyway.

John saw Diego opening his mouth and he said, "Tell them nothing."

Lenny grabbed Diego pulled him into a bear hug, crushing him. Diego's eyes floated back and Maruzzi saw the whites of his eyes. "Easy, you oaf," Maruzzi yelled. "If you knock him out we won't get any information from him."

John's eyes flickered toward the fire escape and a plan formed. "Okay," he said. "I'll tell you where the money is. It's right here in this apartment."

"Where is it," Maruzzi said and punched John in the stomach.

John doubled over and fell to the floor. "Its..." John coughed and couldn't speak. He felt like he was suffocating. Terror filled his mind.

"Hurry up, you idiot," Maruzzi yelled. He pulled the trigger back on the gun and pressed the gun barrel into John's temple.

"It's on the fire escape, but it's hidden. I'll show you."

Diego didn't know what John was talking about. The money wasn't here. He thought John had gone crazy.

This will probably confuse your readers and possibly annoy them as you switch around inside different characters heads.

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