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Post Reply Can you write in first-person for more than one character?
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Posted 8/2/15
Let me know if a thread like this one exist or not.
Thanks a bunches.

Explain your opinion in great detail.

I need to know because I'm trying to work out this story I'm writing.
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Posted 8/2/15 , edited 8/2/15
Great detail?
Gosh darn.

I think you can, as long as therere breaks between thoughts or the two are clearly indicated as belonging to separate characters by some kind of type difference or namedrop, otherwise it'd confuse the reader. It is easier to execute this kind of stuff in television programming, I recently watched First Class, a Japanese dorama that had moments where it showed the thoughts of multiple characters consecutively. It may take some extra effort and skill to execute it in written form, that's not to say it can't be done and moreover that it can't be done well. I still think one should have a little writing flair before attempting it, though, I'm a pretty decent writer myself and have been experimenting with it lately, it is more difficult than it looks.
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Posted 8/2/15

animegirl2222 wrote:

Great detail?
Gosh darn.

I think you can, as long as therere breaks between thoughts or the two are clearly indicated as belonging to separate characters by some kind of type difference or namedrop, otherwise it'd confuse the reader. It is easier to execute this kind of stuff in television programming, I recently watched First Class, a Japanese dorama that had moments where it showed the thoughts of multiple characters consecutively. It may take some extra effort and skill to execute it in written form, that's not to say it can't be done and moreover that it can't be done well.


I was going to name each chapter after a character and do it that why.
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Posted 8/2/15 , edited 8/2/15

qualeshia3 wrote:


animegirl2222 wrote:

Great detail?
Gosh darn.

I think you can, as long as therere breaks between thoughts or the two are clearly indicated as belonging to separate characters by some kind of type difference or namedrop, otherwise it'd confuse the reader. It is easier to execute this kind of stuff in television programming, I recently watched First Class, a Japanese dorama that had moments where it showed the thoughts of multiple characters consecutively. It may take some extra effort and skill to execute it in written form, that's not to say it can't be done and moreover that it can't be done well.


I was going to name each chapter after a character and do it that why.



That seems good. Penning an entire long story where you can space them appropriately sounds easier than cramming it into a few chapter one shot, which is what I'm trying to do.
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Posted 8/2/15
You can and there have been a few series that have done this. The most memorable for me being the "heroes of Olympus" series by Rick Riordan. It's uncommon, but not impossible to do. You have to do it in a way that leaves cliffhangers when changing characters, but not skipping over what happens (which is what Riordan messed up on in Heroes of Olympus) because then it won't leave the reader satisfied.
Posted 8/2/15 , edited 8/2/15
You can but make sure you make it clear when you switch to another characters POV
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Posted 8/2/15 , edited 8/2/15
The best way to do it is by chapter. If you switch too quickly it's not good. You certainly can though, it's been done.
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Posted 8/2/15
Yes, but you have to pull certain strings which I personally don't really like doing. Instead I tend to switch to omniscient third person when presenting a story from multiple view points so I can still examine their thoughts without having to worry about marking off when the point of view changes.

If you are trying to separate things by chapters, you will likely run into problems with actually covering everything you want to cover in a natural way without being redundant. I've been running into that problem a lot even with my omniscient third person story because I didn't plan out things exceptionally well at the start. I highly suggest making some sort of outline if you are trying to juggle perspective instead of simply following your pen.
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Posted 8/2/15

PrinceJudar wrote:

The best way to do it is by chapter. If you switch too quickly it's not good. You certainly can though, it's been done.


I plan on doing it that way.
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Posted 8/2/15

sundin13 wrote:

Yes, but you have to pull certain strings which I personally don't really like doing. Instead I tend to switch to omniscient third person when presenting a story from multiple view points so I can still examine their thoughts without having to worry about marking off when the point of view changes.

If you are trying to separate things by chapters, you will likely run into problems with actually covering everything you want to cover in a natural way without being redundant. I've been running into that problem a lot even with my omniscient third person story because I didn't plan out things exceptionally well at the start. I highly suggest making some sort of outline if you are trying to juggle perspective instead of simply following your pen.


I was going by chapter.
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Posted 8/2/15
I usually try to avoid having multiple first person characters, even if they're divided by chapters. Ultimately, I find it clutters up and confuses the reader. There are exceptions though and since you seem to want to do this, I'm going to give you an example of a novel that does it well and recommend you read it. That novel is Bret Easton Ellis's "The Rules of Attraction."

The reason that this novel works so well is due in part to how distinct the characters are from one another. He also utilizes it to create unreliable narrators and does it so with genius work. So if you're hell bent on doing it this way, I won't be able to recommend that style because of its difficulty, but try reading Rules and take notes.
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Posted 8/2/15

LITVoid wrote:

I usually try to avoid having multiple first person characters, even if they're divided by chapters. Ultimately, I find it clutters up and confuses the reader. There are exceptions though and since you seem to want to do this, I'm going to give you an example of a novel that does it well and recommend you read it. That novel is Bret Easton Ellis's "The Rules of Attraction."

The reason that this novel works so well is due in part to how distinct the characters are from one another. He also utilizes it to create unreliable narrators and does it so with genius work. So if you're hell bent on doing it this way, I won't be able to recommend that style because of its difficulty, but try reading Rules and take notes.


Thank you.
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Posted 8/2/15
Jodi Picolt does it first person through different characters like for example nineteen minutes changes from character to character during the chapter with a space to indicate the change, while Second Glance changes from chapter to chapter if I remember correctly.
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Posted 8/2/15

eyeofspirits wrote:

Jodi Picolt does it first person through different characters like for example nineteen minutes changes from character to character during the chapter with a space to indicate the change, while Second Glance changes from chapter to chapter if I remember correctly.


Chapter by chapter?
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Posted 8/2/15
僕は

Well that was easy hope it helped.
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