POV character

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Aimée
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Joined: December 9th, 2009, 1:26 pm
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POV character

Post by Aimée » January 20th, 2010, 7:39 pm

I'm working on this sort of mystery thriller. I've outlined and I know my characters well and I've continued to think about it and write a couple scenes while writing and revising my main story that kind of died and I don't really know how to revive it. So I've decided to start writing this mystery thriller. I know the plot and everything, but there are a lot of characters, more than one villain, and two protagonists (one is a villain and the other one dies about three quarters of the way through so neither can tell the story) and I really have no idea what to do for point of view.
I've tried launching into it, first as third person omniscient with every other chapter alternating good guys/bad guys and I got about 10,000 words before giving up because it was awkward and it felt like I was really squeezing around pillars to avoid giving away the villain, so I tried first person from a minor (yet essential) character's point of view, and that seemed to work great, but the character didn't know enough information to reveal the truth in the end without someone just telling him the truth. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, but they are all important. I've tried to combine some minor characters and that's started to work, but I don't think I can get rid of any more without tweaking the plot line (which is awesome by the way).
So I'm just wondering if anyone else has had a problem like this and how you approached it.

Ninjas Love Nixon
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Joined: January 15th, 2010, 6:27 pm
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Re: POV character

Post by Ninjas Love Nixon » January 21st, 2010, 9:48 am

One way to approach it might be to move to first or close third and work each chapter from the PoV of the character who allows you to best control the information you give to the reader. If you include character names in chapter heads, it can also allow you to have one character who operates under two names (e.g., 'Villain' and 'Tim'). You would need to tightly monitor those chapters though, so that you do not omit or include something simply to make the deception work. With careful choices, you can keep the viewpoints true and vital information sufficiently obfuscated (but blatantly obvious on re-readings).

Alternately, you could step entirely away from your characters and have something completely external narrate the tale, a ghost, a devil, a piece of furniture, etc., which might also give you an interesting take on omni.

Or you may need to revise your outline, look hard to see where you can collapse characters into each other, simplify or merge subplots, or if you are able in fact to cut out whole characters and threads without harming your book at all. Diagrams with lots of line and arrows and jotted comments can be invaluable in this regard ;)

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