Point Of Views: First Person Or Third Person… Or Both?

Now that I’ve finished my 50k for NaNo, I’m just relaxing while I write Outside of The Unknown. No more worrying about finishing on time for me. Thank goodness!

SOME GOOD THINGS SO FAR:

  1. I’ve finally decided on which direction to take the story in.
  2. No men will be in shiny armor riding on white horses to save anyone.
  3. All my female characters are independent and unique in their own way.
  4. I’m making stuff up as I go along and it seems to be working.
  5. Story may get a little darker as I go along, but the message is still an important one.
  6. I’m writing…I’m not dead yet, surprisingly.
  7. I wake up early in the morning and discover new ideas for scenes & characters.
  8. Each scene keeps me on the edge––a lot of intense drama and emotion.
  9. Everyday I research and find out something I didn’t know before.

SOME BAD THINGS RIGHT NOW:

  1. I can’t decide which point of view to keep – 1st or 3rd or both.
  2. Can’t decide if this story should be in past or present tense either…
  3. World building…I’ve got a lot to work on.
  4. Religion. I need to make some fake ones for this story. I really don’t want to offend anyone’s religion and be on somebody’s hit list. 😐
  5. Language––not all characters speak English or well enough…some don’t even talk.
  6. Cultures/Fashion…I got some of this down, but I need more research.
  7. Timeline––it’s a bad word right now… need to get my history scenes in order.
  8. Technology––deciding what kind of technology they have and how they use it is complicated as heck.
  9. Weapons/Fighting––gadgets and fighting techniques is a biggie. This book is supposed to have action by the way.

Now, I’ve noticed a pattern here for this book unlike some of my other stories. I do tend to switch back from my main character’s POV to either third person (something that happens without my character knowing about it) to another character’s POV. My main character is not really the narrator throughout the story, even though her story seems to be much longer and in depth than some of the other characters. My problem is I love both POVs.

I like reading/listening to my character’s voice, because quite frankly she’s a breath of fresh air and she’s very hilarious. In fact, she seems to help balance out all the negative, since there’s such dark themes and topics in this story that it can be a bit depressing (overwhelming) at times. I have other funny characters too, but my main character takes the gold. But since 1st person POV is so limited and I don’t get a wide range of other character’s thoughts/feelings, I tend to switch to another character. I do break up these scenes and put the character’s name above in caps, so people can clearly tell which POV is from which character.

So, I’m wondering if I should just write all of my main character’s history, plotline, story etc. etc and then go to the other characters, writing their stories in first person. And then finally, combine everything with some 3rd POVs of what happens off screen. Once again, I’m thinking like a film director. I do like 3rd person, because it’s the most common used and you get a lot of characters and can pop into other people’s heads more easily.

However, you don’t really develop a bond with those characters until you’re actually seeing things from their perspective. This is bad, because there is a character (who is a major influence to the protagonist) that I really want people to sympathize with as well. This experiment might work or not. At first, I was going to just write a different character’s perspective for each chapter, but some of these characters overlap with the main character. In a way, it’s quite similar to the first book, Nightmarish Reality…sort of. In the prologue, readers got a chance to get into the main character’s head through reading his journals while other characters were introduced through 3rd POVs. But the majority of the book is all from 1st person. Readers never really get a chance to read much thoughts from other characters’ POVs.

I dunno…maybe this will work and maybe it won’t. I’m not even sure anymore. I certainly don’t want to be repeating events over and over again; on the other hand, the idea of having many other angles. Since there’s such few characters in the story for me, it does sound appealing in a way… Everyone has a different way of telling a story. This type of writing style also reminds me of my favorite book called Election (it was made into a movie) and another old favorite is a Japanese film classic known as Rashomon. Both films are told from different people, each one through the eyes of a character’s point of view. Each POV adds another layer of realism in the story, giving it more depth into the characters’ lives and how they view themselves and each other. In the end of Rashomon, you’re left wondering who was telling the truth all along, but the filmmaker does give you some hints about it in the end…

Anyway, that’s kind of what I’m trying to do for this story, but in many ways a little more complicated. I’m all up for a challenge, so I’ll see where this story takes me. 😀

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2 thoughts on “Point Of Views: First Person Or Third Person… Or Both?

  1. All my female characters are independent and unique in their own way. – i wish i could say the same. my nano is finished, but my characters feel like they’re just spouting plot points and could be inter-changeable. still, 50,000 words is some sort of result

    • After NaNo you can always go back and spice things up by changing your characters a bit more, so they’re all unique in a way. It doesn’t have to be much, but you can always be creative and have fun with it. Writing 50k words isn’t really that long…technically it’s like 150-200 pages in one month. Anyway, best of luck to you hon. 🙂 Hope everything works out!

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