SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Changing POV

Discussion started on

Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region ohiocensouth
This question is a variation of a question previously asked.  Most of my novel will be in 1st person. Is it okay to occassionally switch to 3rd person? It would be for entire chapters.  I need to have some things to happen that give some perspective to the antagonist that at the end will become an ally to the protagonist.

My concern is confusing the reader.  Any advice would be appreciated.  Thanks.
#1 - November 01, 2019, 01:31 PM

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • **
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region canadaeast
You don't want a close 3rd person throughout or two 1st persons?
#2 - November 01, 2019, 02:12 PM

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region carolinas
You'd be better off using a close 3rd person and then pulling back like you would with a camera to give a broader perspective. 3rd person is versatile for that reason because you can be very close to very distant and everything in between.

The danger with switching perspective just to give information means that a reader who is very much immersed in the character is pulled out. That's something I would never wish to do.
#3 - November 01, 2019, 02:34 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region longislandny
It's something that can work, but it means you're writing a book with more than one POV. An omniscient narrator may work better. Also, if you do this, make sure that POV shows up with some frequency. Once or twice may not be enough. This is one of those questions better answered by folks who have seen some of the work and have a better idea of it. It can work, but I can't say if it will work for this story.
#4 - November 01, 2019, 07:33 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region socal
You've gotten good advice, but here's one more thing to consider. If you only do this once or twice, you are risking great, big info dumps in the middle of your novel. If there is any way to incorporate the information that would be carried in these chapters into the main story, that would probably be better. JKR was once asked if Harry and Ron were ever going to read "Hogwarts: A History" and she said, "Absolutely not." (paraphrase) Each time Hermione explained something to Harry and Ron, she also explained it to the readers, but instead of pulling the readers out of the story, it drew them further in.
#5 - November 04, 2019, 10:29 AM

Reader, reader, reader...
Administrator
Poster Plus
  • ****
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region rmc
I read only YA and adult, but when authors switch from 1st to 3rd (unless it's used in mysteries/thrillers, where the 3rd POV is the killer), it's extremely jarring -- and that's to an adult reader. As the others have said, I would avoid that. Omniscient definitely can work well, as can 3rd. Or you can simply have two first POV that regularly interchange (that's one of my favorite styles to read, as I like getting to know more than one character than intimately).
#6 - November 04, 2019, 01:04 PM
Robin
Unspun: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BSR6CPJ/
Website: www.robinprehn3r.com

Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region ohiocensouth
Thanks to everyone for their feedback.
#7 - November 19, 2019, 12:30 PM

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.