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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 ...


11

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


7

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 ...


5

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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


3

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 ...


3

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 ...


3

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 ...


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 ...


2

Writing in the first person is harder. Keep in mind that in the first person writing, the main character is also the narrator. He shouldn't be all knowing. It is easier to put down your (character's) thoughts and you can also deceive and lie! (That I like the most. :) ) We also cannot see onto other characters minds, so we can't know how they really feel ...


2

If you don't want to invent a whole language up from scratch or go and study ancient English or something like that, you can always write in modern English but let it be implied that the characters are really speaking in their own language, the modern English being just there for the conveniency of the readers. Depending on your public, it will either not ...


2

Character jumping can be done gracefully, but it's important to master the concept of one character perspective per scene first. It's tempting to jump around, but you will find that your writing gets better when you slap a constraint of no head jumping mid-scene. The writing is better because you're forced to build intimacy with the current character instead ...


2

Yes, you should avoid using modern words in fantasy because they can break the immersion which readers are experiencing. That said, many words are not as modern as you might think. "Rockets for military and recreational uses date back to at least 13th century China," so they can exist in medieval-themed fantasy world. Tug of war "was practiced in ancient ...


2

I have written many scientific papers using first person singular and have not had any problems from editors. Many physics journals encourage it as a matter of fact. I will admit that most papers unfortunately do use this convention. Also, as mentioned, when some papers do use first person, they use plural even if there is only one author. I also use "we" ...


2

Normally I'd say "none", 3rd person is fairly easy, easier than 1st, so you should be fine but... You're rewriting into a 3rd person partially omniscent with access to two minds. Ouch. Ouch again. That's what I tried to do just recently, thinking "It will be fine". It backfired. It's neither a proper omniscent, nor a proper partially omniscent. I was ...


2

It's a good question. It is something I have seen done - for instance, I have recently been re-reading some of David Weber's Honor Harrington series. He uses this occasionally to show the reaction of a character to events. Sometimes it's quite satisfying - but if not used very carefully, it can make the reader confused. A lot of what your omniscient narrator ...


2

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.


1

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 ...


1

No concrete examples are coming to mind at the moment, but just thinking about it leads me to believe it's best to stick with the character's nickname. But this assertion is circumstantial: you say the main character has started to use this fellow's real name; I ask you why? If someone is going by Nicky the whole time and then dramatically reveals their ...


1

I do not know the etymological or cultural roots of using the passive voice/ third person. However, the reason we were given [the reason they gave us], and that sounded to us as perfectly understandable, was that active voice unnecessarily [and undesirably] shifts the focus onto an extraneous element, at least in some instances. Consider these: "An ...



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