Question on changing character point of views


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  1. #1

    Question on changing character point of views

    Hi everyone, I am currently working on my first story and writing it in Wattpad as I like how itís laid out. Anyway, Iíve been wondering about how Iíve been changing points of views every now and then and I donít think Iím doing it in a good way. Currently when I change to another characters point of view I do this:

    *last sentence in one characters point of view*

    ĎSecond characters nameí P.O.V

    *first sentence in the new characters point of view.*

    Should I stop doing this and find a new way? I donít want my story in only one point of view as itís necessary to have two point of views to tell my story, the rest will be in third person. Any advice is appreciated!

  2. #2
    There's no reason you can't do it the way you have. Personally though I do get a little put off when a chapter title or section heading tells me explicitly which character I am. It takes me right out of the story in what feels like a very forcible, unnatural way - and I would also say it is somewhat cliched and very overdone at the moment.

    Why not simply start the next section (after what is hopefully a natural break - new chapter, new section, etc.) in the new POV character's moment, and if they have a distinct personality and voice and situation and appropriate degree of psychic distancing, it will be clear and easy, if you've set them up right. Of course, that's assuming you use 3rd person. If you don't, your way might be the only way to do it, but as I say, I would find that a tough read unless there was significant attention paid to the voice and setting.

    That being said I actually try to change POV mid paragraph in my WIP, just to see if it could be seamlessy done. We shall see


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  3. #3
    IMO - head hopping = bad if done sloppily.

    I've read stories where the POV changed almost every paragraph - and one horrible book (written by a respected author) where it swapped within the paragraph. It makes my head spin. Writing from an omnipotent POV is, for me, annoying.

    In my current and past works I have switched POV, but have kept to that POV for an entire chapter or section of the book. IMO it's easier to follow that way.

  4. #4
    My favorite way to change POV is to start the scene talking about this new character.
    Essentially I start with a standard character intro, show them doing or thinking something, get into their head, then continue with the story. This way the reader is firmly fixed on this new character's POV.
    Here is an example of that (assuming the new POV is also a new character.);

    __________________________________________
    Little more than five foot tall, Jason Mitty was not a big man in physical stature. This was something readily apparent to everyone in the world except Jason Mitty. Standing ramrod straight, he carried himself as if he were Paul Bunyon. Never one to be meek or mild, Jason stood his ground like a giant among dwarfs. It was this defining quality that people usually noticed first about the man.

    Born to poverty...
    _________________________________________


    So I would do a paragraph or two to get you to see him, then continue with the story.
    That is basic character development 101.

  5. #5
    I 'head-hop' all the time (third person limited POV), but restrict the changes to chapter, or scene breaks. I've read good books written in an unappologeticly omniscient manner, but I find it somewhat distracting to change POV within a scene, or even within a paragraph.
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  6. #6
    Hi Jessica, welcome to the mad house. There are a lot of points of view about points of view. For myself, I try to keep to one point as much as possible. If I have to change I always leave a clue in the first line of a new character. Then I pick at it until it either works or gets binned and a work around is called for.
    Try it, if it works fine, if not it can be changed.
    Good luck
    BC

    Quote Originally Posted by JessicaMidnight View Post
    Hi everyone, I am currently working on my first story and writing it in Wattpad as I like how it’s laid out. Anyway, I’ve been wondering about how I’ve been changing points of views every now and then and I don’t think I’m doing it in a good way. Currently when I change to another characters point of view I do this:

    *last sentence in one characters point of view*

    ‘Second characters name’ P.O.V

    *first sentence in the new characters point of view.*

    Should I stop doing this and find a new way? I don’t want my story in only one point of view as it’s necessary to have two point of views to tell my story, the rest will be in third person. Any advice is appreciated!

  7. #7
    Member Sir-KP's Avatar
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    That 'second character's name' P.O.V is a bit raw as a head-hop transition IMO.

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