Changing narrator pov

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Parkinsonsd

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Can anyone think of a convincing book where the author consistently changed his narrators from first to third? I'm sitting here racking what little gray matter I have left and can't come up with one.

I think it would be difficult if you do it truly well, because you'll have to continually adopt new personas as you write, and lord knows I'm screwed up enough already.
 

giftedrhonda

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I've seen chick lit that's done it. I can't say I particularly like it, though.

I did read an historical fiction that did it...the title had the word "courtesan" in it. I'm blanking out - sorry...
 

blackbird

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Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine does this. She's one of the masters of multiple viewpoints (IMHO, of course).
 

pdr

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Actually...

there are quite a few literary or mainstream books which do it. I enjoyed 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' by Lous de Bernnières.
 

alleycat

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Doesn't James Patterson do that? I can't remember; I've only read one of his books. If I remember correctly he changed from first-person for the Dr. Cross character to third person for the storyline involving the bad guy. I could be wrong about this.
 

WriterInChains

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Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams. Codi's chapters are in 1st & Homero's (her father's) are in 3rd. Hers greatly outnumber his, but the effect is perfect.

It's one of my all-time favorites -- I keep giving it away & always buy it again to re-read.
 

gwendy85

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James Clavell's "King Rat" does it. He switched from first, third, and even second! It was a little confusing, but the story is very gripping. It's one of my favorite WWII novels :)
 

Anthony Ravenscroft

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Dean Koontz, Mister Murder. A great story, a skilled (if not "talented") writer, but even Deaner almost managed to derail me. It's not an easy gimmick to manage.
 

Adagio

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Brad Meltzer's "The Millionaires." 1st, present tense -- 3rd past.
 

KingRat

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James Clavell's "King Rat" does it. He switched from first, third, and even second! It was a little confusing, but the story is very gripping. It's one of my favorite WWII novels :)

You mean somebody wrote a book about ME? :hooray:
 

BlueTexas

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Kingsolver also does it well in The Poisonwood Bible.
 

dahosek

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Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit.

"Nihil sub sola novum est," as Solomon once wrote (although not in Latin).
 

gerrydodge

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Jonathan Burnham Schwartz does it, but with different charaters in RESERVATION ROAD. He shifts characters throughout, two of whom write in first-person, but the other charcter is written in third. Fine novel, by the way.
 

Kaytie

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Maxine Hong Kingston did it in WOMAN WARRIOR

E. L. Doctorow in THE BOOK OF DANIEL

In both of those cases, though, the first person narrator is essentially talking about themselves in the third person, so I'm not sure if that would help you or not.

It's hard to give examples without knowing how such a POV switch would work in the novel you're writing. Did you find a title that addressed what you were looking for?
 

Raphee

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Moth Smoke by Mohsin hamid. And he wrote in present tense and did a decent job.
 

maestrowork

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If you mean changing POV characters (one 1st and one 3rd) then there are lots of books like that.

Now if you are talking about the same narrator: 1st person in one chapter and 3rd person in another... then I can't really think of anything, and I would also question why you would want to do something like that. Why not just stick with one POV?
 

girlyswot

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Diana Gabaldon does it sometimes too. Sometimes I think she gets away with it and other times it really jars. When I have to read a section twice, because suddenly 'I' has become 'Claire', I think that shows it's not working too well!

When she describes scenes where her MC is absent, then that's fine, but sometimes she does it with the 1st person POV character still in the room and that doesn't work at all for me.
 
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