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JunoApollo

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Reply with quote  #1 
I'm writing my book. As we all are. (Ok so this is my first, a lot of you are more than likely way more advanced...) And I have a question...

I have my quote unquote Main Character. The person who's life the whole story is based around. They are the crux of the events that take place, you are either wanting them to succeed or fail. You are wanting them to be happy, or to live forever miserably... etc. etc. etc. But for whatever reason, I'm finding that a lot, or probably actually most, of the scenes that I'm writing between my main character (the protagonist) and the 'kind of' secondary character (the antagonist) I'm writing from the perspective of the antagonist.... is this ok....? It's not how I envisaged it when I started out, the secondary character was just that. But for some reason, I feel that the reader would get more information about what's going on from a perspective different than that of the main character..... is that weird?

I'd prefer to write from within someone's own head rather than from an angle that someone else might be conceiving it, but it seems to make more sense right now. It's confusing the heck out of me to be honest... I see the scene, I know what has to be said and done by each character, and I just see it all from the secondary person's point of view.

That might change soon, I don't know.... but my question is, is that ok...? Or are there certain rules that I need to abide by where the main character has to have more 'air time' so to speak.....?

Or does what I'm doing actually make the secondary character the quote unquote Main Character..... oooohhhh.... I hadn't thought of that.... now I'm even more confused......!!! HELP!!!!
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KellBrigan

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Reply with quote  #2 

My opinion (English BA, concentrating in American Lit.):

1. You don't have to tell an entire book from just one point of view. We have plenty of works that are 3rd person subjective from the points of view (POV) of different characters sequentially. The trick is to make sure you don't have people knowing things they shouldn't. Also, I've seen a lot of beginning writers mix subjective POVs for different characters in the same scene and that's just crazy-making for readers. Obvious chapter or section divisions between the POV switches help your reader stay oriented. You can also have obvious switches in thinking and speaking style or base attitudes of the characters to make clear whose head we're in.

Recommended viewing would be the play/movie Roshoman, which tells the same story from several different points of view. And, of course, the story changes depending upon who's telling it.

2. You can also use 1st person subjective, but I personally wouldn't have more than one "I" POV is a story. A less confusing method is to have one first person speaker, and then write the rest of the POVs in third person. (And, unless you're Russian ; ) you probably don't want to have more than ~4 different voices in the same book.) And, of course, all those rules can be broken if you're doing so for a good reason, i.e. confusing the reader is part of the story.

3. Many stories are "told" by secondary characters who are watching the main action along with the reader, i.e. Ishmael in Moby Dick, Nick in The Great Gatsby, the lawyer/boss narrator in Bartleby, the Scrivener.

4. Switching between the perspectives of the hero and antagonist is classic in mysteries or thrillers.

So, short version, I'd say "normal." Two rules: make sure your characters don't have knowledge they shouldn't if you're writing from more than one character's POV, and don't mix POVs in the same scene.

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KellBrigan

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Reply with quote  #3 
Just found this great article on 3rd Omniscient versus 3rd Limited. https://blog.reedsy.com/third-person-omniscient-vs-limited?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=g&utm_campaign=thirdperson (I'm adding a step in my editing process specifically to remove 3rd Limited "filtering." I plan to do searches for the POV character's name and personal pronoun, which should make those instances easy to ferret out.)

I got this from the "Writers Helping Writers" group on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/mikegeffnerpresentswritershelpingwriters/?fref=nf

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JunoApollo

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Reply with quote  #4 
Excellent info as always Kell, thank you. I've had to join the Facebook group as it's closed, but now that I have I can see it's going to be a huge help to me. Thanks [smile]
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KellBrigan

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks very much for your response.

Writers, man... I guess I have to rescind my recommendation re. the Facebook Group. I just got kicked off. I posted a comment in response to someone who stole three paragraphs word for word from a Writer's Digest post and posted them in a comment as his own writing. (I included a link to the post he stole from.)

Turns out, the guy plagiarizing was one of the admins.

[rolleyes]

Tis a far, far better truth I post yada yada...

Onward.
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JunoApollo

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Reply with quote  #6 
Wow... that's not good is it? [eek] How did he think he'd get away with something like that on a page for writers? 
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