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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » First Novel in 1st person one character. I want to write the second one from multiple

   
Author Topic: First Novel in 1st person one character. I want to write the second one from multiple
RoxanneCrouse
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I've written my first novel in a trilogy. It's all first person from one characters point of view, Lilly. I'm outlining the second novel now and realized I really want to write this one from other characters POV, not just the main character from the first one. I know Stephanie Myer did it in her books. In the third and forth books she switches to Jacobs POV for a little while. This is the only series I've ever read that does that. DO you think it will be 2nd book suicide to start writing chapters from other character POVs? I tried to find a thread about this but didn't find one.
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Merlion-Emrys
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I don't know what the "common wisdom" is on this for sure, but I know one thing: if you try to do it in a way what feels unnatural to you, chances are it will be much more difficult and you'll probably be unhappy with it anyway, by all that's incorrect.
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genevive42
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I think it depends on how strong the voice of your MC is and if you think your fans will be upset over leaving that character's pov. Personally I think it could be very interesting to get a different pov in the second book.

Question, would you still write it in first person, or would you switch to tight third?

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babooher
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I agree with Merlion-Emrys. Write the way you think it should be. If need be, you can do a revision.
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rcmann
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There is no law that says you can't alternate POV in a single book, is there/
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babooher
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There is no law nor any rule for a book, but I have been "urged" to not let my POV stray from a single character in short stories. I would say don't needlessly stray, but if there is need, do it.
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Meredith
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Novels are different from short stories. And each may require a different approach to tell the story. Sometimes, you need more than one point of view because the MC can't possibly know everything or be everywhere.

I've read otherwise great single POV novels from really, really good writers where I've gotten just a little frustrated towards the end because I have to find out about part of the action after the fact when some other character tells the MC what happened because s/he wasn't there.

A trilogy is a little trickier, because you've set up a certain expectation in the reader. So you have to decide how you want to handle that.

But, a first draft is just that. A first draft. So, write it the way you feel it wants to be written. Later, you may decide you need to revise one or the other. Or you may decide you like it that way.

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axeminister
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I thought the Interview With A Vampire series were different POVs, right? Heck, weren't they all different characters?

James Patterson switches POV a lot. He's doing OK. He's got first person (Cross) then he'll hang out with the bad guy for a bit, then go back to Cross.

Probably not helpful to say I've done this, because who am I, right? However, I did feel it absolutely necessary to tell the story. The worst that happens is the book doesn't get picked up. Then I just write another one...

p.s. Hi Roxanne. =)

Axe

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MattLeo
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Personally, I think you're making a mountain I out of a molehill. It's quite common for authors to write a sequence of books which share a same story world but are narrated by different characters. World-building is expensive, even in non-speculative literature, so it's narratively efficient.

The only caveat might be if you are writing a *long* series of *formula* driven books, tinkering with the formula might violate reader expectations. But otherwise, don't adhere to a formula that hasn't been established yet, unless you *want* to establish one.

Mysteries are a good place to look at the formula phenomenon, because the *genre* is formulaic. Series are very common, and offer a highly repeatable reading experience without that experience becoming entirely predictable. Even so the *best* writers aren't afraid to tinker with the formula.

Tony Hillerman actually *changed detectives in mid-series*, de-emphasizing his Navajo super-sleuth Joe Leaphorn if favor the more complex and fallible Jim Chee. Chee is a hothead who unlike the "Legendary Lieutenant" Leaphorn actually screws up quite often. That's a huge shift to take fans through, but Hillerman manages it.

Elizabeth Peters told the first half dozen of her popular Amelia Peabody series in Amelia's voice. Peters is a master of the unreliable narrator, and a lot of the fun of the series is trying to figure out what *really* happened from Amelia's highly colored version of events. Later, as this joke starts to wear thin, Peters refreshes it by having the editorial persona discover a new set of "personal papers". "Manuscript H" provides a humorous counterpart to Amelia's account of events related by her son Ramses. Ramses, while just as eccentric as Amelia, is much more worldly, so we find him more credible. This leaves us free to enjoy Amelia's preposterous interpretations of other characters' motivations and opinions for what they are: reflections of her own overbearing personality.

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RoxanneCrouse
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Because this book is YA and 1st person is popular in YA, I planned to stay in 1st person. I would label the chapters with who's POV I'm in, like Chapter 1 Lilly, Chapter 2 Ansron etc. There is a short amount of time where Ansron leaves the main character Lilly and I'd like to write what he's doing. I also have a new antagonist coming into the picture and the reader won't know much about what their up to until 75% of the way through if I stay in only Lilly's POV. I think I'm going to switch POVs in the second one. I'll need think of something to expand even more for the 3rd one to continue the trend.

p.s. Hi axeminister

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KayTi
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I think you're in the clear here, so long as you stay consistent within each POV that you're in (at least for me, because poor POV use drives me batty in reading!) YA is full of stories doing all sorts of wonky things with POV in terms of who is narrating when. I think sticking with chapter breaks for POV changes is the simplest/most straightforward (but it's been done other ways, too.) And I personally prefer the first person all the way through. As a writer, I find it really hard to switch from first to third and back (I accidentally fall into one or the other when I'm supposed to be writing in the other. Drives me nuts. Its' why I'm not editing that other book I wrote right now because my next project is a 3rd person POV and if I edit the 1st person one, it'll ruin me for my next project, lol.)

Good luck!

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