A question that I have.


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Thread: A question that I have.

  1. #1
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    A question that I have.

    Alright, so there's some problems I've had with a story I am writing, and I was wondering if I could get some help.

    The story as it is currently is in first person, however, I want it to transition from character to character every once and awhile. The problem I am having this is the fact that one of the two current characters isn't one that I can easily write about in first person.

    She is a character who doesn't talk a lot, whose dialogue is peppered with ellipses, and doesn't have a lot on her mind, so writing an entire section or chapter in her perspective seems a bit awkward to me. However, I want to alternate to her as the character that the story is following every once and awhile, and the only way I can think to do this is switching to a third person perspective.

    So I tried this, and even that was rather hard. The result was sentence after sentence starting with the word "she". Does anyone have some advice on how to remedy this without changing the character completely? Any help is appreciated. Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by 72ZX; October 6th, 2010 at 07:28 AM. Reason: Fixed title.

  2. #2
    Hard to say without an excerpt. In general the easiest way to cut down on pronouns is usually to avoid "filtering", like, instead of writing "She saw the door open." you would write "The door opened."

    But I'm not sure how much of that you're doing.

    Assuming all the pronouns are actually necessary, I guess that means the character is doing a lot, but she's by herself or there's not much interaction? In that case, I'd add more interaction. Add other people doing things. Make stuff happen.

    I don't really see how the nature of the character effects the number of pronouns (in third). Just the situation the character is in, and general matters of voice and style, that's what determines how many pronouns you have, I'd say.

  3. #3
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    Well, as it stands, there's no real way to write in her perspective while it's just her, since she's, as you suggested, by herself. I want the reader to get a glimpse, or simply just understand how the character behaves when she is not with the other main character. The only two conclusions I have come to are either: one, change her personality; don't just make her silent and alone all the time, or two, write in her perspective while she is with the main character, rather than while she is alone.

    The latter of the two wouldn't explain too much about how she is normally, but it would be far more easier than when she is alone. However, the first one may be the best bet, even if I am rather satisfied with the character as she stands.

    I've no real excerpt, since I scrapped anything I had in her perspective, which even then, wasn't much.

  4. #4
    Read Faulkner's 'As I Lay Dying'. The central character in the book is bedridden at the beginning and dead just a little later. The novel is an experiment in changing pov. The chapters are told in first person from different members of the family. The dying/dead woman never speaks, but is at the centre of everything. You may pick up some ideas about how to build your story.
    El día ha sido bueno. La noche será larga.

  5. #5
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    A lot of first person authors just switch to a different person per chapter, and instead of naming the chapter, it'll be like "Chapter Five: Martha:", to indicate that the chapter is from Martha's point of view.

    Or you could just look up ways to do it on Google and try experimenting with different styles until you find something that fits.

    James

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