Consistent Perspective?

#1
Now... then. This really sounds dumb for me who's already finishing several volumes of my stories. But... I think I cannot keep being consistent in fixing perspectives. Here's my list of questions regarding it.

1. What is the main difference between Omniscient 3rd POV with Limited 3rd POV? As in, the things that one must do and one mustn't do when doing it.
2. Is there a method to train one to write using Limited 3rd POV without having to suddenly jump from a mind of a character to another?
3. Is it alright to suddenly switch perspectives when using 3rd perspective?
4. To what point can it be considered as acceptable when switching perspectives? Especially in 1st POV.

I guess that's it. I'm always, always getting close to derail the story by switching perspectives once every XX chapters. Somehow, it annoyed me but I couldn't help to do it if I want to show some more characters development. Of course, I restricted it only to the main casts of my story but.. well, it always happened. So please help me!

RE: Consistent Perspective?

#2
The difference between limited and omniscient 3rd person PoV is that the limited narrator only knows the thoughts and perspectives of one character, and the omniscient narrator knows the thoughts and perspectives of all the characters. The limited narrator can describe all the action going on in the scene, but no thoughts other than the ones of the main character.

I'm not aware of any method to "train" writing in one perspective. Really, it's the kind of story you write that lends itself to different narration styles. If you have a very personal, small-scale story that focuses a lot on one character, it's easy to write in 1st person or 3rd person limited without having to switch PoV. If you have an epic, large-scale story that has multiple plot threads and several primary characters, the story lends itself to using 3rd person omniscient or switching PoVs between characters.

The switch in PoVs when writing in 3rd person can be very fluid. Personally, when I'm writing a scene, I jump from person to person with nothing but a line break. I only write italicized thoughts for my main character, but I point out different perspectives and opinions all the time for all of my primary cast of characters.

In 1st person, switching PoVs can be a lot more disorienting and jarring for the reader. I would definitely recommend you not use 1st person if you're writing a story that requires a lot of jumping between characters. If you have to jump, never do it in the middle of a scene. Either do it after the end of a chapter, or after a scene with a clear indicator of a break, like *** or a horizontal rule. The other thing you need is to have distinctive narrative voices for each of your characters, so it's obvious to the reader who's "talking" in the story even if no names are mentioned.

RE: Consistent Perspective?

#3
Ugh, I can really sympathise with you.

I seem to deviate from first person perspective when I start trying to show the thoughts of other characters or explaining their actions when the MC doesn't have direct line of sight.

Though I find that imagining my scenes from first person, over the shoulder or as the 'audience' really helps me keep my writing consistent. If your writing in first person and your imagining the scene from all perspectives it will seriously mess with you. Mainly because it gives you ideas that doesn't directly involve the character in question.

Anyway, just speaking from my limited experience. Hope it helps.

RE: Consistent Perspective?

#4
I think you have to stay with a style that works best for you rather than try to jump around being like other authors. This is not a criticism just an observation of what works.

If you study and look at how authors write more than one book under their name you will notice they will stick with the style that suits them. They don't often try to mix up their style, because once you find your style its going to fit and will help your writing flow. I do believe there's more than one way to do things too. Find what makes your writing just kind of flow on it's own.

Personally I think realism is cut down if you switch perspectives too often...because after all people themselves can't jump into another person's body...or can they? ( maybe I just haven't figured that out yet. )


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