Re: Multiple 1st person perspective switching is a literary crime. Am I wrong?

#21
As a man who usually writes in the first person and has attempted multiple perspectives, it's really not difficult. Honestly, I like first person a lot more because I do a lot of action spots and I want to get in the character's head when they're performing the action. plus dialogue is a lot better in the first person in my opinion. Third-person is cool, but done wrong can be incredibly boring and impersonal. First-person will always ensure that you will have the personal feelings of your protagonist. 

Re: Multiple 1st person perspective switching is a literary crime. Am I wrong?

#22
I think you should write in the POV that best tells the story. I use multiple first-person POVs in my story Baron Britpop Blastfurnace. The MC makes a note of who is doing the narration whenever there is a shift (usually at the start of a chapter), so it is not confusing. That allows readers to get into the minds of several characters in different locations. 

And instead of one invisible, omniscient narrator telling the story (3rd person), I can have several characters in the story narrating their own storylines. It is very handy when your MC is not in a scene. Otherwise, you would have to switch to 3rd person, or have your MC tell what happened even though they weren't there, or leave it out.   

It really depends on the story. It obviously doesn't work for everything. But variety is the spice of life.

If it works, it's good. 

Re: Multiple 1st person perspective switching is a literary crime. Am I wrong?

#24
Every single perspective switch is a crime.
Under all circumstances.

Some are less egregious than others, and can be made up via community service. (Other aspects of the writing pay off the cost of the switching)

But they always have a cost, you are taking the reader away from a character and story they are, ideally, invested in and asking them to care about something else. 

Pay them back for that.
Every time you do it.

If they don't care that you are taking them away from a character or situation, then you have real problems.

Re: Multiple 1st person perspective switching is a literary crime. Am I wrong?

#25

tempast404 Wrote: Every single perspective switch is a crime.
Under all circumstances.

Some are less egregious than others, and can be made up via community service. (Other aspects of the writing pay off the cost of the switching)

But they always have a cost, you are taking the reader away from a character and story they are, ideally, invested in and asking them to care about something else. 

Pay them back for that.
Every time you do it.

If they don't care that you are taking them away from a character or situation, then you have real problems.
This, exactly this. It is really, really irritating when I have to wait for a while (while reading boring, unimportant things) just to get back to where we left off. Even if the "interlude" is good and exciting, the initial feeling is that of disappointment or even very slight anger, since your immersion basically gets "reset", and you have to start from zero again, my mental image of the story that I was holding onto got shattered and reset 

Re: Multiple 1st person perspective switching is a literary crime. Am I wrong?

#27
Thanks all for responding to this. I may have been a little harsh labeling it a crime. I noticed a bunch of folks say, just put who's perspective it is on top of the chapter and it's all good. Most people do this on RR, so my issue isn't that I don't know when it is another perspective. The problem is everyone usually feels like the same person.

The perspective switches but even though you switch into someone else's skull it is essentially the same. My feeling is that if you switch using 1st you have to change your writing to reflect a totally new personality. How the character sounds in their head, perceives and reacts to things, the very thought processes have to be different. That is where I think the failure happens. If you change 1st person perspective from Bill to Janet, and the only way I can tell is you put the name at the top of the chapter, you failed. 

Don't get me wrong, I think it's really really hard to do this well, and I agree that you can only succeed by trying. So to all the authors attempting to learn, have at it. A good example of doing it right is Vigor Mortis, which for the most part does an amazing job. Each character is so distinct you know who it is instantly. I just get a little sad when I start reading a story that is really good, and the author starts shifting and doesn't succeed in pulling it off well. It's like finger painting on top of a Rembrandt.

Re: Multiple 1st person perspective switching is a literary crime. Am I wrong?

#28
You point out a good point. Personally, I find the same problem in third person pov since everything seems bland sometimes. 

Anyway, back to the point. Currently, I want to write something using multipov and in my first draft, only the dumbest of my characters sound very differently from my MC. However, it seems to work when I partition my soul between my character. Trying to create one doesn't seem to work. Since basically every character is nearly self-inserted, why not go straight with it. So my MC is 50% of myself, my second character 20% and the others share the rest. Of course, it needs to be  totally independent to give the illusion of different characters. 

I hope it will work in the end, but I will only see it in a few months when I post my stories.

Re: Multiple 1st person perspective switching is a literary crime. Am I wrong?

#29

shazzan Wrote: Thanks all for responding to this. I may have been a little harsh labeling it a crime. I noticed a bunch of folks say, just put who's perspective it is on top of the chapter and it's all good. Most people do this on RR, so my issue isn't that I don't know when it is another perspective. The problem is everyone usually feels like the same person.

The perspective switches but even though you switch into someone else's skull it is essentially the same. My feeling is that if you switch using 1st you have to change your writing to reflect a totally new personality. How the character sounds in their head, perceives and reacts to things, the very thought processes have to be different. That is where I think the failure happens. If you change 1st person perspective from Bill to Janet, and the only way I can tell is you put the name at the top of the chapter, you failed. 

Don't get me wrong, I think it's really really hard to do this well, and I agree that you can only succeed by trying. So to all the authors attempting to learn, have at it. A good example of doing it right is Vigor Mortis, which for the most part does an amazing job. Each character is so distinct you know who it is instantly. I just get a little sad when I start reading a story that is really good, and the author starts shifting and doesn't succeed in pulling it off well. It's like finger painting on top of a Rembrandt.
peoYes I agree, that is irritating, but giving characters different voices is a part of writing. No matter what. And sure, you can not know this, or be bad at it, but please work for it. (to  my fellow authors kek)