Questions tagged [perspective]

This tag should be used for questions about the usage of perspective in different kinds of writing, such as when you are having problems with showing the emotional perspective of your protagonist to your reader or how you could switch between perspectives.

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On a tough decision, how would a character choose?

Pardon the incorrect grammar. English is not my first language. Long post. The context is this: A man is delivering his dead friend's baby to its grandfather. The old man hasn't seen his son in 10 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
61 views

Protecting a POV in visual adaptation of a novel

I’m considering allowing a film adaptation of my novel but want the “frame story” message maintained. What would this device technically be called in the agreement? Example: The original Planet of the ...
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6 votes
3 answers
857 views

How do I know if my character is a self insert and how do I avoid it or overcome it?

When I was making my characters, I was a little picky and had trouble, for I am not the best at decision making. However, when I do come up with characters, I usually get some of their concepts from ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
95 views

Multiple plots, multiple characters and multiple point of views in a single novel

I am wondering if this is at all possible. Usually, you have one plot and the plot is centered around one main character, but what if there are multiple main characters associated with a unique plot ...
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3 votes
2 answers
99 views

MC has selective mutism; what to do with dialogue?

In a book I’m writing, the main character (a 15-year-old girl) has/struggles with selective mutism. I’ve quickly run into the problem where she is in a “mute situation” where she doesn’t talk. I’ve ...
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  • 143
2 votes
2 answers
136 views

How to make human characters turned into monsters devolve and abandon their humanity?

TL;DR: How can I psychologically justify why relatively normal (i.e., non-sociopathic) human beings that have turned into monsters (like vampires or werewolves) devolve into feral beasts or vicious ...
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  • 4,317
3 votes
1 answer
95 views

Does the title of a work have to be in the same person as the work?

In a recent work I wrote, the body of it is, as in most of what I write, in the third person. However, my title is in first person, using the word “we.” Is this is an acceptable thing to do? Does the ...
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  • 127
1 vote
3 answers
232 views

How do I write a story that is purposely meta?

I want to write a story where the author is constantly addressed and made fun of. The author, is a separate person. The author is trying to write a meta story, however she makes it so meta, that it ...
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0 votes
1 answer
54 views

My story is a mythological fantasy set in England in the 1700's. I have two characters, and my main one, dies. I don't know how to continue writing it

As I mentioned in the title, my main character dies. I don't want to write it from my secondary character, because I feel as if that would feel weird for the readers, as they are used to my main ...
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1 vote
4 answers
144 views

What is the best way to blend perspectives?

I am writing a story from the perspective of a man telling his audience what happened to him. During his monologue, somebody walks into the room in real-time and tells him something. What is the ...
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18 votes
11 answers
5k views

How do you write about the human condition when you don't understand humanity?

I was talking with some writers, and they were mentioning how writing is fundamentally about "the human condition, our take on it, what we see in our world and experience. All stories, no matter ...
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1 vote
1 answer
205 views

Can I switch perspective in the middle of a book? [duplicate]

My book is mainly focused on one character, and is written in first-person, until about half-way through. In the middle of the novel, the perspective will shift into third-person and focus on a ...
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1 vote
2 answers
112 views

Third Person Limited: use of 'I' in internal dialogue

My current piece in 3rd person involves lots of internal dialogue because the character is somewhere they can't speak in the local language. I've been advised not ever to use 'I' in this perspective, ...
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6 votes
4 answers
296 views

A good way to transition different character perspectives

In my novel, there are three character perspectives that switch off every chapter. What are the ways to lead from one character perspective to the next and what are variables I should consider when ...
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5 votes
1 answer
115 views

Should I add in POV's for characters if the plot wasn't designed around them?

I am writing a YA fantasy. There are three main characters, but the plot was entirely designed around Character #1 and his journey. Character #2 and Character #3 are with him for most of said plot. ...
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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to write in third person present tense without making it sound awkward?

Generally it is preferred that one use present tense with POV, or at least it sounds organic. Are there any ground rules I can make use of to exploit third person present tense to the fullest without ...
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17 votes
4 answers
5k views

Can I have a non-living thing with its own perspective?

We typically have third person or first person narratives in literature. I have a requirement - to unveil the suspense, I want a non-living thing to share its perspective in the final chapter. Is this ...
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5 votes
2 answers
275 views

How to write the thoughts of a character in a drunken POV scene?

One of my POV characters is an overthinker. Partly because she wishes to stop thinking so much, and partly because of peer pressure, she gets super drunk... and ends up doing something that she would ...
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0 votes
1 answer
183 views

Are There Any Books That Blend First-Person Narration with Third-Person?

I was wondering if there are any books that blend first-person narration with third-person. What I mean by this is that the story is simply narrated by one character in first-person, and that ...
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2 votes
1 answer
121 views

Tense change when referring to how protagonist currently is while he is describing events

I have written a novel that I want to send out to agents, but am now having doubts if it is polished enough to do so yet. A big problem for me right now is tense. My novel is written in past tense, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
123 views

How to write mishearing/mispronouncing without lying to the reader?

Sometimes the plot requires communication to partially break down between characters. A misheard or mispronounced word can have great consequences, after all. Often people aren't even aware it ...
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7 votes
1 answer
128 views

Changing POV style mid-story

I'm writing a story that is told by the main character. The idea is that at some point, he decides that what has happened merits documenting, so he's telling part of it in the past tense. The problem ...
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  • 356
3 votes
4 answers
628 views

Introducing a new POV near the end of a story

This question is strongly related to this one: Balance between character's point of views However, that question is asking about balancing POVs in general, whereas this one is about potentially ...
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  • 2,860
11 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is it bad style if the personal first person narrator of a story dies during said story?

Right now I'm writing a novel in which I use the changing perspectives of two main characters with limited information each to slowly unveil the whole plot to the reader. Both use the past tense and ...
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  • 272
0 votes
1 answer
71 views

How can I showcase the dynamic relationship between two personalities? [duplicate]

The protagonist, as a child, was born into an eldritch cult which worships the being known as shub-niggurath. His parents chose him to be an unwilling participant in a sacrificial ritual, using his ...
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0 votes
3 answers
84 views

How to find different meanings behind metaphors used in speech writing?

I'm looking for ways to discover what others might think when they hear or see a metaphor used in a speech. I tend to think a certain way. I have certain prejudices. I think we all do. If I use a ...
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7 votes
1 answer
877 views

Referring to a character in 3rd person when they have amnesia

A section of a story I am writing is being told in third person from the perspective of a character who does not know anything about herself due to amnesia. The reader is also unaware of anything ...
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  • 185
4 votes
2 answers
136 views

Will a change in perspective "intimacy" confuse the reader?

[Not a native english speaker] I am currently writing a novel, told from the 3rd-person POV, with several characters being followed in different scenes. Will the following confuse the readers? ...
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3 votes
2 answers
107 views

Switching perspective in battle scenes?

I have written a book with an ensemble cast. Prior to them meeting, I simply gave each character his/her own chapter. Once they met, I narrowed the perspective to only a couple. The battle at the ...
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  • 31
2 votes
1 answer
150 views

What are the best techniques to show a character panicking as it is seen by the POV character?

So the problem I am having is that the protagonist of the novel I am writing is having a confrontation with another character, who starts panicking. Instead of saying "panic dripped from his face", I ...
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3 votes
2 answers
224 views

How to limit 3rd Person Omniscient without losing depth to your other characters?

My writing group lately has been harrowing me to stop using 3rd Person Omniscient perspective and use 3rd Person Limited instead. Brandon Sanderson (I'm part of his writing class and will be again ...
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8 votes
7 answers
2k views

How to write internally emotional characters?

Over the past couple of days, I've asked questions about writing female characters with agency, and writing female characters as a male writer. Both have sparked some interesting, and for me ...
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  • 904
0 votes
4 answers
180 views

If a main character is writing the story, can I change who writes the story in the next chapter?

I’m trying to write my first novel and I have come across an issue which I feel like it could change the whole story/flow. Originally it wouldn’t have mattered if I wrote in the third person but I ...
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7 votes
8 answers
3k views

How to write female characters as a male writer?

Yesterday I asked a question about writing a female character who has agency. Much to my surprise, it was well-received and generated a lot of great discussion. In reading that discussion, however, ...
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35 votes
10 answers
12k views

How to write female characters with agency?

I'm attempting to write a novel, an historical fiction with a small fantasy component (time travel through a portal). The travelers (main characters) are a young couple from the late 23rd Century who ...
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  • 904
12 votes
8 answers
2k views

Colours of ultraviolet

I need to write something from the perspective of a character who sees colours differently from humans, and in particular can see multiple shades of ultraviolet. This isn't unique, their entire ...
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2 votes
5 answers
1k views

To what extent can a first person narrative tell someone else's story?

I've recently been working on some stories written in the first person from the point of view of what, in the grand scheme of things, would be called minor characters. Examples include a junior bridge ...
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  • 9,998
7 votes
2 answers
433 views

How to make a cat's perspective exciting?

I'm writing an article about a cat saving a three-year-old girl's life. So what tools/techniques can I use to keep the reader interested?
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6 votes
5 answers
4k views

Dead as a point-of-view, how can you write first person narrative if that person is dead?

In short I'd like to write a story from the point-of-view of a character who ultimately dies within the narrative without the story being either A. a ghost story or B. a life/after-life retrospective ...
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  • 9,998
9 votes
5 answers
403 views

Is it "fair" to hide specific thoughts of a character?

I kind of like the style of writing the thoughts and feelings of many of the characters, most of which aren't the protagonist. The problem arises when some of these characters are hiding a certain ...
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  • 990
3 votes
3 answers
12k views

Is there a term for a narrative where you are speaking to the reader?

I know that a first-person narrative is written from the point of view of the narrator, relaying events from their own point of view using the first person (i.e. I or we, etc). Is there a name/term ...
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13 votes
4 answers
4k views

How to write two seemingly different characters that are actually the same person?

I'm currently working on a book with two protagonists and switching the perspective between them. They have quite different plotlines, but actually they're the same person. English is not my first ...
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3 votes
2 answers
278 views

Third person into first person as the protagonist becomes the same entity as the narrator

I'm attempting to write a sci-fi novel in a dystopian future baring semblance to that within 1984. I'm using third person to describe what the protagonist sees, what he feels and what he thinks, ...
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  • 133
7 votes
6 answers
3k views

Is First person perspective more intimate than Third person perspective?

I know there's a lot of questions regarding this topic, but none of them delved too deep into if there's a different level intimacy between the two perspectives. People have told me that FPP in a ...
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  • 3,975
4 votes
1 answer
310 views

Flashback vs long past tense exposition vs multiple frames of reference in the same scene

I'm giving my newest story a bit of break before I go back and fix the tense issue in it, and going back to the story I started last April. I am unfortunate enough to have about 180k words of novel (...
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  • 389
5 votes
3 answers
4k views

What is the difference between limited third-person narrative and free indirect discourse?

Free indirect discourse is a writing technique that makes the writing display the character's thoughts whilst still remaining in third-person narrative, with 'he' or 'she' as pronouns. As an example, ...
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  • 333
34 votes
10 answers
10k views

Would it be cheating to change the main character's "name" partway through the story?

I'm writing a story written in third-person limited, and the main character has no real name. They simply go by the nickname they're given by the people they hang around at the time, resulting in many ...
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  • 453
16 votes
5 answers
16k views

How to describe a female character's figure without comedy?

Do you know a good way to describe a female character's figure? I'm writing a fairly serious story, but the only way I know how to describe this is from comedy stories, where they work out some joke ...
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  • 169
4 votes
6 answers
5k views

How would a mature teenager behave?

I'm writing about a mature girl (15ish). But I'm not sure how she should act other than being polite. The way I think a mature person would act would be someone who doesn't swear, but some mature ...
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  • 935
13 votes
5 answers
3k views

Do modern readers believe the first person narrator can't die?

Back in highschool in the 90s we had an assignment to write an extra chapter for a book. After some discussion the teacher told us that under no circumstances can we kill the protagonist as the book ...
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