Writing a Multiple Viewpoint Novel - HELP! :(

Watch
satisfactionatlast
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#1
Hey guys,

So I have 2 main protagonists (male & female), but 80% of the time, they are in completely two different places. Both are central to the plot as it revolves around them. Let's suppose I want to write around 6 books.


Would it be better to shift between the 2 character's First Person POV in each book, or would it better to have one whole book told in protagonist A's viewpoint, the second book told in protagonist B's viewpoint, and so on...?

What would be more effective? Thank you
0
reply
satisfactionatlast
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#2
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#2
anyone? Please?
0
reply
satisfactionatlast
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#3
bump.
0
reply
IAmCalledJacob
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#4
Report 3 years ago
#4
I've generally liked the style used in A Song of Ice and Fire and, more recently, The Expanse; switch every chapter.

Hell, in The Expanse, both writers write each character's chapters independant of each other and collab at the end of the week to make sure everything fits together. And that's in a setting where the main characters could be separated by literal light-hours' worth of communication delay.

I'd say switch each chapter. It also allows for some variety in the story if the two have different personalities.
0
reply
Quirky Object
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#5
Report 3 years ago
#5
Or just use third-person omniscient? I find that less jarring than POV-switching, personally.
0
reply
satisfactionatlast
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#6
(Original post by Sonechka)
Or just use third-person omniscient? I find that less jarring than POV-switching, personally.
I prefer first POV as it's more personal and readers can relate to the character(s) easily
0
reply
satisfactionatlast
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#7
(Original post by IAmCalledJacob)
I've generally liked the style used in A Song of Ice and Fire and, more recently, The Expanse; switch every chapter.

Hell, in The Expanse, both writers write each character's chapters independant of each other and collab at the end of the week to make sure everything fits together. And that's in a setting where the main characters could be separated by literal light-hours' worth of communication delay.

I'd say switch each chapter. It also allows for some variety in the story if the two have different personalities.
So you mean if I have 2 characters, every other chapter belongs to that character's POV? Or can I have like the first 3 chapters in the first person's POV and the next 2 chapters the second person's POV, etc. What I'm trying to say is that does it need to be consistent and the chapters need to be equally divided between the 2 characters?
0
reply
IAmCalledJacob
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#8
Report 3 years ago
#8
(Original post by satisfactionatlast)
So you mean if I have 2 characters, every other chapter belongs to that character's POV? Or can I have like the first 3 chapters in the first person's POV and the next 2 chapters the second person's POV, etc. What I'm trying to say is that does it need to be consistent and the chapters need to be equally divided between the 2 characters?
In the examples I listed, they switch character POV every chapter. So in Leviathan Wakes, it goes Holden, Miller, Holden, Miller, Holden, Miller and so forth until the end. In book 2, they expand the roster so it rotates one of four characters every chapter. But I wouldn;t say it matters who the POV is per-chapter as long as it's clearly defined (Chapter 8: Miller, Chapter 9: Holden and so forth)

(Original post by Sonechka)
Or just use third-person omniscient? I find that less jarring than POV-switching, personally.
You can POV-switch when having third person. It's useful if the characters are separated by location.
0
reply
RizK
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#9
Report 3 years ago
#9
(Original post by satisfactionatlast)
If you've read the Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore (James Christopher Frey) he switches the viewpoint from one person to the next whoa re related to the story often, and in no specific order. Personally I liked it a lot as it seems sort of exciting to have a fresh viewpoint every now and then.

I think it depends on whom you want to focus on. If you want your first book to be about character A's thoughts and feelings more, then you would want it to be from A's POV, no? Then follow from there. But fair warning: if you split each book by characters, you'd polarize your audience to one character to the next since your writing style would obviously differ from one POV to the other. It's a bit like how people generally disliked Eoin Colfer's The Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy, even though it was meant to be the final book in the series.

The character switch thing was interesting and not too disturbing to me personally. You might want to try it if you want a balanced feel to your books, and to develop a fanbase that loves your thus made 'style,' as long as you maintain a rhythm

Just my two cents.

Cheers!
0
reply
Quirky Object
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#10
Report 3 years ago
#10
(Original post by IAmCalledJacob)
In the examples I listed, they switch character POV every chapter. So in Leviathan Wakes, it goes Holden, Miller, Holden, Miller, Holden, Miller and so forth until the end. In book 2, they expand the roster so it rotates one of four characters every chapter. But I wouldn;t say it matters who the POV is per-chapter as long as it's clearly defined (Chapter 8: Miller, Chapter 9: Holden and so forth)



You can POV-switch when having third person. It's useful if the characters are separated by location.
Yes; I was just saying using third-person omniscient has the same effect as POV-switching but is, I think, "smoother" and easier to pull off.
0
reply
satisfactionatlast
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#11
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#11
(Original post by Sonechka)
-
(Original post by RizK)
-

Thanks guys! I have 2 main characters (probably one more but she'll have the spotlight from Book 2 onwards if I do decide to write from her POV). I also write in the 3rd person POV when those 2 characters are not present (e.g. something that happened hundreds of years ago, or when the scene shifts to the bad guys, etc). But it's mostly first person POV because that's just my preferred style of writing

So I'm glad that I don't need to make the 2 characters' POV consistent & equal, but I'll try since consistency is key to a successful story!
0
reply
Tootles
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#12
Report 3 years ago
#12
(Original post by satisfactionatlast)
Hey guys,

So I have 2 main protagonists (male & female), but 80% of the time, they are in completely two different places. Both are central to the plot as it revolves around them. Let's suppose I want to write around 6 books.


Would it be better to shift between the 2 character's First Person POV in each book, or would it better to have one whole book told in protagonist A's viewpoint, the second book told in protagonist B's viewpoint, and so on...?

What would be more effective? Thank you
Alternate between them. Think about it as if it were a film about two characters, with things happening to each: would you want to watch all the stuff with character A and then the stuff with character B? Of course not, you'd get bored and stop watching.
0
reply
satisfactionatlast
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#13
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#13
(Original post by Tootles)
Alternate between them. Think about it as if it were a film about two characters, with things happening to each: would you want to watch all the stuff with character A and then the stuff with character B? Of course not, you'd get bored and stop watching.
Yeah that's what I was planning. My only question was that should the characters get the same equal screen time or can i focus on character A more than character B?
0
reply
Tootles
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#14
Report 3 years ago
#14
(Original post by satisfactionatlast)
Yeah that's what I was planning. My only question was that should the characters get the same equal screen time or can i focus on character A more than character B?
Depends how they weigh in on the story. If you alternate between them you can break at out just before significant events, I've seen that done before.

Also it might be an idea to write each PoV in a different style, that can be very effective for keeping it interesting.

Check out The Magician's Land for the PoV changes and Cloud Atlas for the different styles.
0
reply
satisfactionatlast
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#15
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#15
(Original post by Tootles)
Depends how they weigh in on the story. If you alternate between them you can break at out just before significant events, I've seen that done before.

Also it might be an idea to write each PoV in a different style, that can be very effective for keeping it interesting.

Check out The Magician's Land for the PoV changes and Cloud Atlas for the different styles.
will do. Thanks!
0
reply
satisfactionatlast
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#16
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#16
(Original post by Tootles)
-
I have a quick question. Since I'm writing it in 2 character's POV, I would be calling each chapter by their first names, but can I also give that chapter a title as well?

Another question, can I use the 3rd person POV on the 2 characters? Like at times, I want to talk about those 2 main characters in a 3rd POV. Is that fine?
0
reply
Tootles
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#17
Report 3 years ago
#17
(Original post by satisfactionatlast)
I have a quick question. Since I'm writing it in 2 character's POV, I would be calling each chapter by their first names, but can I also give that chapter a title as well?

Another question, can I use the 3rd person POV on the 2 characters? Like at times, I want to talk about those 2 main characters in a 3rd POV. Is that fine?
You don't need to title each chapter by name if you've only got two pov characters, you can just make it clear by setting. Some of the books I've read have four or five, and they dit it fine. It's better to just title the chapters.

I don't see why not. Again, plenty of writers write multiple pov in the 3rd person.
0
reply
satisfactionatlast
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#18
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#18
(Original post by Tootles)
You don't need to title each chapter by name if you've only got two pov characters, you can just make it clear by setting. Some of the books I've read have four or five, and they dit it fine. It's better to just title the chapters.

I don't see why not. Again, plenty of writers write multiple pov in the 3rd person.
Great! Thank u! Because I have written some events that I'm writing (e.g. evil spying on the main character(s).
So that's a relief then!
0
reply
Pride
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#19
Report 3 years ago
#19
(Original post by Sonechka)
Or just use third-person omniscient? I find that less jarring than POV-switching, personally.
(Original post by satisfactionatlast)
I prefer first POV as it's more personal and readers can relate to the character(s) easily
I find it fascinating how modern fiction has largely moved away from third person omniscient.

To the OP, I'm currently writing both kinds atm. I would recommend that it really depends on the story and what you want to do with it. Both can be effective. The third person has a more classic style but can be harder to make personal. If you get it right, the result will be really impressive.

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
satisfactionatlast
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#20
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#20
(Original post by Pride)
I find it fascinating how modern fiction has largely moved away from third person omniscient.

To the OP, I'm currently writing both kinds atm. I would recommend that it really depends on the story and what you want to do with it. Both can be effective. The third person has a more classic style but can be harder to make personal. If you get it right, the result will be really impressive.

Posted from TSR Mobile
Thank you for your comment and good luck with your novels!
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Current uni students - are you thinking of dropping out of university?

Yes, I'm seriously considering dropping out (47)
16.04%
I'm not sure (8)
2.73%
No, I'm going to stick it out for now (100)
34.13%
I have already dropped out (4)
1.37%
I'm not a current university student (134)
45.73%

Watched Threads

View All