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Thread: Wondering about an odd "combination" POV for my WIP, thoughts?

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Wondering about an odd "combination" POV for my WIP, thoughts?

    Hello! I've put aside my first MS because I was editing it to death. It's a Middle Grade novel, written in 1st person past tense. My MC is Allie.

    Now I'm working on a 2nd MS with Allie, and she is going to a competition with (but not against, they are all competing in different disciplines of Fine Arts) three other pals. In the first novel, we were inside Allie's busy little head, hence the POV.

    Now, I need to be everywhere (with all the girls and other performers) so I was wondering if it would be too strange to tell Allie's story in 1st person, and the other girls in 3rd person, omniscient? When they are all together, it would also be 3rd. I've roughed out the 1st chapter (in 3rd), and am starting the 2nd, which will be Allie's experience. So, do you think it will be too jarring to jump POV?

    I'm sure this has been done before. I've read many books where each person tells their story from 1st. Have to admit I'm not a fan. I dislike the changing "voice". And there's always an unreliable narrator in the bunch.

    I'm going to try it, but just wondering if I'm wasting my time (from a "getting published" standpoint) and should pick one and go with it?

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
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    Take a look at The Young Elites. The author uses the style I believe you are describing. Each character's POV change begins with a new chapter where the character is named in the chapter title. With the main character the POV is first person. But with all the other characters the chapters are in third.

    I believe you do need to do something like using chapter changes to change POV or you risk coming across muddled to the reader.
    Last edited by MaeZe; 08-12-2017 at 09:35 PM.

  3. #3
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    It has been done before, as you say, and the book was really successful (Sarah's Key). Generally, changing POVs between 1st and 3rd person is not very common. If there are multiple character POVs they are usually in the same person, 1st or 3rd. However, if you feel that it suits your story, go for it. Examine if you really need to tell the story from multiple POVs though; what do the other girls' POVs have to offer? Do they convey information that may propel the story in a way a one-person POV cannot do? Or do you simply use them to show sides of your characters that may be interesting to you but not really relevant to the story? I think every POV just like every character and every scene needs to be pertinent to the plot. Anything extraneous better be cut off.
    You could write some chapters using multiple POVs, and then decide during the editing phase (with feedback, too). Or whatever works for you.


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  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    It's been done before, but keep in mind that omniscient is less common than third person multiple. I suggest researching head hopping and how to avoid it as that's a common problem with so many perspectives.

    Maybe try experimenting with different point of view possibilities before committing to the ones you want to use throughout the whole story? It really depends on your writing process and whether a mix of first and third person is what's best for the story in question.
    Last edited by bluejaybooks; 08-13-2017 at 03:48 PM. Reason: I said limited when I meant multiple.

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    If the books are a series, shouldn't they have the same pov setup for continuity?

  6. #6
    Let's see what's on special today.. Bufty's Avatar
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    Just wondering why you need to be everywhere with everybody.

    If it's a competition, what the others do will impact on your MC, and her observations and reactions may be far more important than seeing everything else from everybody else's POV.

    Make sure the story impact is not in fact weakened by trying to cover 'everything everybody does'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy From Oregon View Post
    Hello! I've put aside my first MS because I was editing it to death. It's a Middle Grade novel, written in 1st person past tense. My MC is Allie.

    Now I'm working on a 2nd MS with Allie, and she is going to a competition with (but not against, they are all competing in different disciplines of Fine Arts) three other pals. In the first novel, we were inside Allie's busy little head, hence the POV.

    Now, I need to be everywhere (with all the girls and other performers) so I was wondering if it would be too strange to tell Allie's story in 1st person, and the other girls in 3rd person, omniscient? When they are all together, it would also be 3rd. I've roughed out the 1st chapter (in 3rd), and am starting the 2nd, which will be Allie's experience. So, do you think it will be too jarring to jump POV?

    I'm sure this has been done before. I've read many books where each person tells their story from 1st. Have to admit I'm not a fan. I dislike the changing "voice". And there's always an unreliable narrator in the bunch.

    I'm going to try it, but just wondering if I'm wasting my time (from a "getting published" standpoint) and should pick one and go with it?
    Last edited by Bufty; 08-13-2017 at 02:43 PM.
    Everything yields to treatment.

  7. #7
    figuring it all out
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    Could you find a way to get the info you need to tell through the omniscient perspective through dialogue or something else, without break POV? I find that breaking POV usually is the result of the writer wanting to tell me something and I become aware of it, taking me out of the story. The more you can stick to a single POV the better (unless, of course, the story is structured with multiple POVs in mind but it doesn't sound like that's the case here).

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