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15

Even though you notice the problem in the first words (in the subjects of the sentences), I think the problem is elsewhere: Each of the first five sentences has a verb that reminds that we're in Adele's head. But we already know we're in Adele's head, so these reminders are unnecessary, and they weaken the sentences. Consider this edit, which removes all ...


12

Advantages First person narratives also have a much easier time garnering empathy from your audience, since they end up spending so much time in your character's brain. If done well, it can give logic and motivations to characters that would seem otherwise evil, immoral, or otherwise not relatable. It more easily fleshes a character on the page by ...


9

First person makes it easy to show a character's motivations, and using it with an unreliable narrator can add a nice twist of ambiguity. With highly sympathetic narrators, it can forge a strong connection between reader and protagonist. On the other hand: (Most of this assumes the point point-of-view character is the protagonist, which is the option I've ...


8

Depends on what your "limit" is. If you are limiting yourself to one character, then yes: the Harry Potter series is told in third person limited omniscient, and we get Harry's thoughts, but no one else's (other than two or three specific chapters in the entire series). But if something doesn't happen to Harry, or if he doesn't see it or hear about it, ...


8

You have a few things going on here: 1) If the story is first-person, your problem is solved. We rarely address ourselves by our given names in internal monologues. 2) If your story is in third person, then you have a cultural issue. The children may not get official Names (Starfall, Willow, Runs With Scissors) until they do something to earn it. But you ...


7

While you might personally have issues with the three items you listed, calling religious belief arguably arbitrary and irrational and letting that viewpoint seep into your writing is going to make your task very difficult. You yourself need to learn to sympathize with a religious viewpoint first. You don't need to accept it, but you need to believe that ...


7

The tricky act to walk with telling stories from a non-humanoid perspective is that of combining the traits your readers expect from that animal or object with the traits readers expect from a narrator. With animals this means getting inside the {dolphin|wolf|horse|whale}'s head. It means knowing that a horse lives life poised between flight and fight. It ...


7

Third limited is from a single point of view, but not from the "I" (first person) point of view. He said, he saw, he knew. You're sitting on his shoulder, seeing everything from his perspective, with limited, but not personal, access to his thoughts. Alice in Wonderland is told from third person limited (or third person subjective, as some people call it). ...


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 ...


7

I think it's hard because it's hard for readers to relate with a group of people. A group very rarely feels the same things and thinks the same things. So it's not going to be easy to accurately portray what the characters are thinking and feeling throughout the piece in a way a real person can relate to it. One of the benefits of First Person is the chances ...


7

It's probably a good idea to make a distinction: The writer and the narrator are two different "people," one real and one fictional. Most of the time, you don't want the writer's voice in the novel. Tell the novel through the voices of either the POV characters or a narrator. Now, here's another matter altogether: Whether the narrator and the POV character ...


7

Sorry for the simplistic answer, but you are asking a very basic question. The way to keep a narrative interesting in the first person (or from any POV, for that matter), is to leave out detail that doesn't advance character development or plot, or isn't interesting for some other reason. Some writing teachers and critics will tell you never to use the ...


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

Serve the plot. I actually don't mind having a 10:1 ratio if the one scene packs a real punch. I wouldn't arbitrarily make half your scenes the other POV if it doesn't do anything to advance or improve your story. Don't fix what ain't broken.


7

Everything is about him. The other characters talk about him, plot about him, worry about him, try to contact him. Everything is about what he's doing or where he's going and with whom. Scenes where he isn't there detail the effect his actions or words had on the other characters. If it's his story, then tell his story. The TV show Person of Interest is ...


7

You have to identify them somehow. Use adjectives. The tall man vs. the short man The older man vs. the younger man The long-haired man vs. the man with the thistle-down hair The carpenter vs. the electrician The French man vs. the German man It may get repetitive to say "her hands rested on the carpenter's shoulders, just they way they rested on the ...


6

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card did something like this, although they weren't quite integral to the plot. The entire story was told from Ender's point of view, but the beginning of each chapter had a radio transmission or other news-type broadcast that was talking about the current events in the rest of the world, outside his secluded space station. But ...


6

"You're reading the advertisement: an offer like this isn't made every day. You read and reread it. It seems to be addressed to you and nobody else..." These are the opening words of Carlos Fuentes' Aura, the only example of second person narration I've read. In Fuentes' case, I think the second person narration contributes to an impression that ...


6

One way to look at it: how do people in real life present thoughts and emotions? Either through their actions (facial expressions, body language) or they say something. You could get across emotions by describing these things (something like the "universal expressions" in the TV show Lie to Me come to mind). I think objective third is pretty difficult to do ...


6

I'll admit outright that it's late and so I won't read all of the rigorous Q&A presented here. However, I would like to present you with a few examples, off the top of my head, that may be of use to you in your quest: First thing that pops to mind is "The Slave". I'll assume you've read it, since if you hadn't it is an inconceivable wrong you must ...


6

I don't see the connection between First Person and including mundane events. You COULD include mundane events in Second or Third Person, too, if you were so inclined, but hopefully you aren't. Focus on what you need the scene to do. Hopefully it's designed to advance characterization and/or plot (hopefully 'and', rather than 'or'). So what is needed for ...


6

I agree with Lauren that consistency is important, but I also think it's important for an author to consider some possible negative effects of switching POVs. The big one, for me as a reader, is that I LIKE being in a POV character's head, and switching too often keeps me from settling in and getting comfortable. I can't care about too many characters at ...


5

I like that you're playing with different viewpoints here. The first one is (in this one paragraph) an aloof third person. If it stays aloof, it may be tricky to engage the reader. But this narrative distance may be temporary, and perhaps subsequent paragraphs will move us closer to the lone young man. The first version does raise some intriguing questions. ...


5

It should be pretty simple to write her decisions if they are truly brief. For example: Vala whirled to face her attacker, checking him over for potential weaknesses. She noted a gap in his armor just above his waist. Gotcha! she thought. A quick jab with her dagger tore a scream from his throat. Emotions and thinking should be just as easy: Jane ...


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

Text Adventure games use a second-person narrative, as do many games that have been inspired by them, including some first person shooters. You are in a dark room. You might be eaten by a grue.


5

This is fine with me. You can have just one POV, multiple POVs, you can even have multiple first-person POVs if you really want. (That might leave your reader confused, but that could be what you intend.) The only rule might be "Be consistent." If your story is consistently from one person's POV, don't show someone else's unless there's a really compelling ...


5

EDIT: As there is a specific part to the question, but the answer I already typed may be of value still I will address the specific issue as briefly as possible. In this particular instance if you have one viewpoint it sets you up to tell a story where the other character becomes seen as an object of suspicion and some fear that mirrors some underlying fear ...


5

Depending on what happens in your opening scenes, you may be able to refer to him as "the boy" or "the unnamed person" or some such. But: How do you suppose that the people in this culture refer to those who don't yet have names? If you're in the person's presence, you could point and say "him", but what if you're not? The fact that you are struggling with ...


5

I agree with Lauren's answer; there's no sense in "balancing" things for the sake of one scene. There are a few ways I can see to handle this: You can encapsulate narrators to keep a single viewpoint, sorta. I have an example from a friend named Joe, although I wasn't around when Phil told me about it. Phil says: "In response to my question, Joe looked up ...



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