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18

Look at Stephen Brust's Taltos series. All fantasy, written in a modern voice. I think as long as you're not using obvious modern idioms, it's fine to write in a modern voice. If you want to put in the time and effort to use a vernacular, that's fine, but it's more often done poorly than well. Think about it this way: when you're trying to write ...


13

I actually disagree about as heartily with the marked answer to this question as it is possible to. First person does not, in fact, make you emotionally closer to the narrator. A lesson I learned the hard way when I wrote an entire novel in the first person only to have the chief criticism come back at me that the main character seemed whiny and self-...


12

Your readers only want to read a scene if it moves the plot forward, adds to a character's experience or inner life, or is just plain entertaining. Realism doesn't mean a character gets up to use the bathroom just because nature came calling. It means that sometimes in the middle of a 3-hour meeting with no breaks, the anxiety that comes from needing to ...


11

With a story in first person, you are intending the reader to become much more attached to the main character. Since the reader sees what that character sees and feels what that character feels, the reader will have an emotional investment in that character. Third person does not have this close tie; a reader can become emotionally invested but it will not ...


8

I would highly recommend section breaks, even if it is happening mid-scene. This isn't an alien technique - many authors have used it. All you really need is a double character return. The reader barely notices it, but it's at least an indicator that we're changing character viewpoints. If you don't use the double return for anything else in your story, then ...


8

Sounds fine to me. The prologue and epilogue are literally before and after the story, so it's fine for them to be formatted differently or have a different POV.


7

I would find it annoying, or annoyingly convenient, to be switching POVs repeatedly, particularly just for one sentence. I think even when you have an omniscient narrator, you need to stick with one person per scene, or per beat. When you read a story, you are kind of sitting on the shoulder of whoever is the focus of a scene, and if the POV jumps from A ...


7

One of the most compelling things about fantasy is that reading a work of fantasy transports you to a different world. Not only are you the reader seeing life through another perspective, you are seeing a completely different possibility for what life might be like. Because the change in possibility is part of what makes fantasy a compelling genre, I would ...


6

Well, first off I would try to avoid that if you can, but that's not always possible, so here's one thing that I've found worked for me in the past. I had both characters looking at something and thinking about it (and in this case, each other). I started with one character's thoughts, then moved to a mix of both of them as they overlapped, then finished in ...


5

I think you should avoid using these expressions in dialogue, but it's fine to use them as a narrator. Characters wouldn't say "rocket across the room" but you can; instead of thinking you're translating from ancient English, treat it as your contemporary telling of an ancient story. Moreover, if you don't use "rocket across the room", you would end up with ...


5

Keep it plausible. The way your characters act in your universe must be authentic. Otherwise you jerk your readers out of the story. What is authentic depends on your setting. Two examples: When Little John is just a fellow, helping the main character, because he is a good fighter, then it could go like that: "Hey, Little ..." Darn. He still forgot to ...


5

In a sense, this is the whole point to an epilogue --if it had the same feel as the main narrative, it would just be the last chapter. Epilogues exist solely to solve the problem of authors wanting to tell the readers things that don't --for whatever reason --fit into the main framework of the novel (and the same is true for prologues). That doesn't ...


4

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 ...


4

You can only do this if the entire section is narrated this way. If you are doing the entire chapter/scene/section etc. from the five-year-old's perspective, it will work. What you cannot do is have two paragraphs in this style and then, without a scene break, switch back to a normal, adult narrative style. ETA clarification as requested: When you have two (...


4

David Eddings does this in the Belgariad pentology. Main character Garion is introduced to a man whom his Aunt Pol calls "Old Wolf," and Garion decides to call him "Mister Wolf." Mister Wolf later announces to other characters, "This is what Garion is calling me, and I happen to like it, so that's what you'll be calling me for now." All the attributives and ...


4

The issue here is that you want to avoid an identity disconnect between the reader and this character. If the reader is connecting to this character only through their name, then this is not only a problem of identification but also one of a lack of style and characterization. You have a couple of ways to avoid this: Characterization: If this character is ...


4

Here's the most basic difference. First Person uses I: I went to the store. I bought a loaf of bread. Second Peron uses you: You went to the store. You bought a loaf of bread. Third Person uses he or she: She went to the store. She bought a loaf of bread. What kind of story is better suited for each one? That's entirely up to the writer. Whichever ...


4

Some options to consider: As Shan suggests, try linking the previous chapter/segment that's written in the third person to the one that's in the first person. If switching to the first person is something you want to do regularly, establish a switch in viewpoint early on, so that the reader knows that you plan on doing this switch on occasion. By ...


4

Look at the books you've read - do they mention it? If there's something unique about the situation - if your characters are extremely modest and are in a situation where they can't have privacy, or something - then it would add to characterization and could be included. But if it's just a standard toileting situation, as suggested by your verdict that "it ...


4

Like anything else, if it's critical to the plot, or if it would be very weird to leave it out, then put it in. If it's unnecessary or there's enough passage of time offscreen to cover it, leave it out. If it's a hostage situation, everyone involved is going to be tense and focused for hours. The hostages may get desperate and sob that they have to pee, or ...


4

I like to write in past-tense very close 3rd person. It's almost like 1st person mentally, but the action is viewed as if from a camera. There are several ways to increase closeness: Repeatedly using them as a (or THE) POV character. Having two makes it closer than if you have 5 POV's. Strictly limiting what is perceived to that character, and not going ...


4

I like to use a lot of dialogue. It draws the reader in. Narrative: Joel didn't like riding the school bus. He was the last one on in the morning, and the seats were always filled. Because he wasn't one of the popular kids, no one made an effort to make room for him. Invariably, the bus driver would yell for him to sit down and the other kids would laugh. ...


4

Good question! This is called free indirect style. Now you know the name, you'll find lots more about it on Google. The description I've linked is probably the easiest one to start with. Hope that helps.


3

As an omniscient third person narrator, I think it's fine to use common English idioms such as "rocket across the room", because it's so common that it doesn't sound any more idiomatic than "flew across the room" or "scrambled across the room".


3

First person has the unfortunate side-effect of being narrated in an extreme sort of way. While it's true that the reader has more emotional investment (if done well) in the character, it can also be true that first person can potentially pull the reader out of the story over and over again with side comments that have little to do with what is currently ...


3

Other answers address the differences between first and third person narration but ignore the last type of narration available to a writer - second person narration. Telling a story by dictating to the reader what he or she (the reader) is doing, can create an uncanny, mysterious, eerie and hypnotic effect on the atmosphere of the narrative. Of course, this ...


3

In my opinion, writing with a omniscient 3rd person character is the most difficult exercice. Since you're seem to be able to write as 1st person, I think this exercice can help you. First, try to write a scene, discussion or anything else, between at least two character with the perspective of each character to have the point of view from each protagonist....


3

I think everything is doable, if the reader gets the feeling it is fitting. I see no problem in the approach to have the book in first person and switch to third for the finale.


3

Two things: 1) Be aware of how you refer to your main character. The names make a huge difference. Use "he" and "she" as much as possible without causing confusion because the reader can imagine themselves as that more so than a name. Titles create the most distance (Officer, Detective), last names less so, and first names are the closest you can come to "...


3

You don't need character names in chapter headings, unless you are attempting multiple first person narratives. Therefore your only problem is how to name the villain. Dan Brown does this n every novel. Just pick something descriptive, e.g. The Controller, The Military Man, The Survivor. Names like these allude to a role or a personal history which can be a ...



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