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Questions tagged [viewpoint]

Questions about grammatical persons (first person, third person, etc.) and how to use them.

16
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4answers
2k views

Is it okay to say what the character infers about other characters thoughts as fact in third person limited?

The story is third person limited to Bob's point of view. He is with Alice, and I have the following line. Alice sat up proudly, then shrunk back down, realizing where she was. Compare this to ...
4
votes
4answers
123 views

What are some good ways of switching from third-person limited point of view to third-person omniscient point of view?

I am thinking of writing a short story which starts with a character narrating then ends up being narrated by an omniscient character. What are the best ways of making this transition? I can't think ...
4
votes
4answers
99 views

Third person story, containing a first person backstory

In several third person (usually limited) stories that I've read, there comes a time when one character shares some of their backstory to one or more other characters. This backstory is always (or ...
6
votes
2answers
131 views

How to Write about Events the 1st-person Protagonist Hasn't Witnessed?

I’ve written a few stories now just at home, however I haven’t seemed to crack one thing. I always write in 1st person as I enjoy the intimacy between protagonist and reader, however what if I wanted ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Point of view switching

I want to write a story mainly in third person, occasionally switching to first person. How would I do that most effectively?
19
votes
6answers
4k views

Is head-hopping always bad?

The general consensus nowadays seems to be that being in the head of more than one character is bad. We should be "on the shoulders" or "in the head" of one character, and one character only, if not ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

First person, third person [closed]

So I'm writing a novel myself and the main character is called Jasper. Whenever he falls asleep, he goes into the dream world type thing. Same dream, same characters, same scenes. When he falls asleep,...
1
vote
3answers
109 views

Does point of view matter drastically?

I've looked at a few other questions and answers but nothing that I was really looking for. The point of view is a little confusing at the beginning (and probably) throughout the novel. It starts with ...
11
votes
6answers
569 views

Third Person POV: What level of telling is acceptable for character motivation?

The novel I'm writing is third-person limited POV in style. This means that the narration's coverage is limited to what the POV character can observe, think, feel, while others' thoughts, feelings, ...
3
votes
5answers
182 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
219 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 ...
36
votes
15answers
13k views

Is it acceptable to use words like “heaven” and “god” when the narrator is agnostic?

The main character, and the person whose viewpoint the story is told from, is a scientist and subscribes to agnosticism. And there are sentences in my story like: "Trees stretched into the sky ...
6
votes
5answers
231 views

In a “Gatsby” type story, how does a narrator relate what he doesn't get to see?

"The Great Gatsby" was told from the point of view of Gatsby's neighbor, Nick Carraway by name, with Nick using the first person. Nick gets to see a lot, but not all of Gatsby's dealings. A case in ...
5
votes
3answers
102 views

Can I change tenses in my first person YA novel?

I'm half way through a YA science fiction novel that is told in 1st person, past tense. Currently there are two chapters in different tenses. One is 2nd person, present tense - the p.o.v. of an AI. ...
6
votes
3answers
132 views

What are techniques for romantic subtext in a first-person novel?

In a first-person narrative, how do you effectively make it clear to the reader that a second character likes your protagonist, before it dawns on the protagonist herself?
18
votes
6answers
5k views

Why is young adult romance now being written primarily in the first person?

My recollection is that when I started reading romance novels in the 1980s, the majority (perhaps 60%) were written in the third person. This included some "young adult" romances with characters in ...
4
votes
2answers
81 views

Does the degree of immersion in the character alter the extremity of plot points used?

Star Wars IV: We never really get to know Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen, and so when they're burned to a crisp, little pieces of human toast, it's horrific but yeah OK. Not as horrific as if we saw Obi Wan ...
7
votes
2answers
334 views

What are ways to shade the narrator in alternating chapters of dual POV?

I've heard advice that in an alternating third person limited POV, the narration alone should be enough to seat the reader within the POV. I like this concept. What are some concrete ways in which ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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, ...
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Is it ok to begin a new chapter with a completely new character/time/setting? [closed]

I think I've written a pretty good chapter one, but now the question is: where do I go from there? I mean: should I introduce a new POV character? Can I jump ahead in time a little to somewhat after ...
4
votes
5answers
481 views

Is show not tell less useful advice in first person

Following the first answer for this question What does Show don't Tell actually mean I followed to the Chuck Palahniuk exercise and tried applying it to my current work. From this point ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

How firmly must I remain in my characters POV?

Is it legitimate (acceptable) to use a 3rd person POV approach with the narration intentionally being a bit wobbly? I'm using an alternating 3rd person POV structure. One character (Let's call her ...
3
votes
3answers
109 views

Balance between character's point of views

I wrote the book through the eyes of one of the characters, then added a few chapters from the other character's perspective. But now, I either need to add more chapters to the second character or ...
1
vote
2answers
140 views

Omniscient but limited Narrator talking to the characters - Pros and cons

It is a third person narrator that changes the character he is "following" from chapter to chapter, or even in the same chapter (just like a limited POV, such as Mistborn or Game of Thrones) Here are ...
3
votes
3answers
122 views

Writing a first-person novel where the MC gets temporarily taken out of commission?

I've decided that this novel would work best as a first person POV, and I generally wouldn't like to give that up. However, toward the end of the book, there's a series of scenes where the main ...
2
votes
4answers
417 views

Point of view, narrative voice, and when to name a character in narration

Let's say you have a scene with Maria, written in third person from Maria's point of view. Then you have a scene with Akash, written in third person from Akash's point of view - and suppose they do ...
2
votes
1answer
166 views

Two first-person narrators in one story

​I am currently writing a short story, and I am considering using two different first-person narrators in two different timelines. The two timelines will be clearly marked by headings stating the date ...
3
votes
3answers
192 views

What is it called when the reader is the focal point?

Here is an example of what I mean in present-tense (though narrative time is irrelevant): You walk into the empty room, you should be worrying about what's about to happen but instead your mind is ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Author intervention in fiction

How important is staying away from author intervention in fiction? I don't do it much, but for things like creating the setting/scenery I do. I kind of go from third person omniscient/author ...
0
votes
2answers
280 views

Should I switch perspectives every chapter, or only when I feel the character needs to have some thoughts?

I was thinking about this a lot recently. I want to have my story a 3rd person POV, but should the reader see through one character's perspective or all of them? I understand that 3rd person POV is a ...
3
votes
7answers
520 views

What happens with changing POV Irregularly?

I have a story that is primarily told from one POV character (third-person limited). However, plotted within this story are a few chapters from other characters. Most of my multiple-POV research ...
1
vote
5answers
222 views

What should I do if I know the antagonist but too many options for protagonist?

I have decided on my antagonist for my first novel. They are pretty much being brought back to power by traitors in an otherwise squeaky clean institution. It's the protagonist I'm not sure about. I ...
0
votes
1answer
111 views

Point of view question

In the story I am trying to write, I have a question about character point of view. I'm writing in what I believe is omniscient style, and I've read that changing POV within the same paragraph is not ...
6
votes
3answers
165 views

How do I avoid rambling in first person narratives?

When writing in first person narrative, there are points when the narrator expresses their opinion on a situation, the emotions they're feeling and so on. I've read books where there are several ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

First person narrative - pros and cons

I'm writing a novel where my original idea was to use first person narrative in most chapters, since the story focuses on the main character's thoughts/feelings/mental issues. I planned to use third ...
0
votes
4answers
172 views

Writing differently when following different character POVs - mainly age difference. (3rd Person)

I'm writing a sci-fi novel with more than one main character. Since I'm not an experienced writer, I still struggle with some basic "rules" within writing that may or may not exist. This issue is ...
3
votes
2answers
135 views

Active voice in situations where the subject is unknown

In a situation where a POV character isn't lucid enough to see or interpret what's going on around them, I find myself constantly describing things either in passive voice, or by using the word '...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

How to handle translation of a language in a comic, while preserving a sense that the language is significant?

I am producing a comic in which a fictional language is frequently spoken. This language (and which characters are able to speak it) is significant to the plot, so it's important that the reader ...
1
vote
3answers
94 views

Is it practical to write a novel with two viewpoints and written from different points in time?

I have an idea for a novel that is told from two, first person viewpoints. One of these viewpoints would be Character 1's and take place in her past, and the other viewpoint would be Character 2's, ...
20
votes
9answers
7k views

I have 97 pages in my book draft. Is it too late to swap to third person from first?

I've been writing a One Piece fan fiction to improve my writing. I foolishly decided to write it in first person and now I kinda want to change it to third person - but I'm already 97 pages into the ...
2
votes
3answers
82 views

Do you need to end a story with the same perspective you start with?

This may seem like an odd question, and perhaps I am over analyzing this a bit too much, as I usually do when it comes to my writing, but here is my concern. The novel I'm writing is in its last ...
3
votes
6answers
237 views

Options for point of view in a story

At first I was going to tell my story told from my main character's point of view, but now I'm wondering if I should make it coming from the point of view of a third-person narrator. I wanted the ...
0
votes
2answers
843 views

Transfer from first person to third person

I'm in the process of editing my novel, and realized that it would be much better when narrated in third person. i was a much better person when it comes to writing in third person. Is there a good ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

First Person when the PoV is not the Protagonist?

I believe writing in the first person gets the reader closer to the character. As far as I know, this is generally accepted as true. That's not all there is to character development, certainly, but it ...
5
votes
2answers
140 views

Can you use third person limited in a story that begins before the MC is born?

I'm writing a story which starts with the birth of the MC; the scene just shows the parents talking with the doctor. The MC enters the picture in third person limited in the following scene (and the ...
2
votes
3answers
126 views

A character's behaviour changes when returning to more familiar conditions. How should I attempt justify this change to the reader?

The story I'm writing begins with the main character in an unusual and demanding situation. For various reasons, this situation causes him to behave in ways that are quite different to how we see him ...
0
votes
3answers
77 views

How to better imply time and place changes?

For instance we are speaking of one time and then when we finish we speak of a moment that preceded, i.e.Ten hours before that. Or we are speaking about people in a facility and then we change to ...
3
votes
3answers
195 views

How to write a character misinterpreting Four Candles as Fork Handles

English is full of homophones that can cause confusion when speaking, but if the two similar sounding words are spelled differently they can be clarified as soon as they are written down. However, ...
1
vote
4answers
96 views

Subplot with no established POV character present

I'm writing a novel with several POV characters, one of which is the director of an intelligence agency. So far, the entire story is told in third person subjective. Each scene is told from the ...
4
votes
4answers
848 views

Term for writing mostly in first-person, but switching to third-person for things the POV doesn't yet know?

What's the term or name of the literary device/technique employed when a novel is mostly written in first person from the protagonist's view, but events as yet unknown to the character are written in ...