Hot answers tagged grammatical-person
I've read at least one book which successfully did this; the author just titled each chapter "Bruno" and "Melusine," depending on whose perspective it was. The timeline was mostly chronological, although there was some overlap so we see how one felt about the other's actions. It worked perfectly fine for me. It's not subterfuge. Label each chapter, throw in ...
I think this is a terrific, creative idea, but you have to be very skillful to pull it off. I agree that each character has to be rendered very distinctively. Ken Kesey did something like this on his novel Sometimes a Great Notion which is a wonderful family saga where different points of view are distinguished by italics and normal fonts.
Both are fine - which to use depends on your goal. It shifts focus. Past tense focuses on the fact it was nothing new at that time. It began much earlier and lasted at least until then. For me it's a tone of excuse and explanation, "I couldn't have done anything about that by then". Also, it tells nothing about whether the protagonist fought it down until ...
If you need a great example of this, read As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. Each chapter was told from a different 1st person POV character, and the chapters were labeled with just the character's name. The voices are very distinctive, and after awhile, I didn't need to read the chapter title to know who was narrating that chapter.
As lonehorseend said, it's important to make sure characters seem different - but adding the character's names is very important. Case in point - go read some of the I Am Number Four novels, particular the second and third novels. They swap (in third person) to different characters, without even using asterisks as breaks. It's nearly impossible to determine ...
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