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Post Reply Can you write in first-person for more than one character?
Sogno- 
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Posted 8/2/15
Yes

just not all at the same time lol. As others said make it clear when you switch characters.

don't ever be a william faulker
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Posted 8/2/15

Sogno- wrote:

Yes

just not all at the same time lol. As others said make it clear when you switch characters.

don't ever be a william faulker


I'm gonna switch characters by chapter.
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Posted 8/2/15
Why not? If you're gonna do it, do it for all the characters so you will have consistency. I have seen many books like that.
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24 / F / Satellite Beach, FL
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Posted 8/2/15
Yes. But to do it, I do a little self role play from the perspective I want to write. It's like an in-character warm-up so to speak. I also make playlists for certain characters and listen to those songs to get me in the right state of mind.

Hope it helps
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Posted 8/2/15
Check out Umineko no Naku Koro ni. It is a visual novel that switches perspectives between characters, while using first person, quite often.
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27 / M / Louisville, KY
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Posted 8/2/15
I'd recommend not doing that as it only frustrates readers.
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48 / M / New England, USA
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Posted 8/2/15
I remember reading a murder mystery that did just this when I was in Junior High. It was more a novella than a novel (I think it may be Agatha Christie but not sure). The detective in the murder case questioned the suspects and each had a chapter to tell what they were doing during the time of the murder. It was a fun story I just wish I could recall what it was so I could read it again.
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Posted 8/3/15

Khaltazar wrote:

I'd recommend not doing that as it only frustrates readers.


But I want to try it.
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Posted 8/3/15
Yes.
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Posted 8/3/15 , edited 8/3/15

Sogno- wrote:

Yes

just not all at the same time lol. As others said make it clear when you switch characters.

don't ever be a william faulker


Specifically, you can get away with multiple POV if you separate chapters/sections between POV characters, to tell parallel narratives.

Otherwise, first-time authors who might write:

He couldn't help notice the girl walking by. "Nice of him to notice," the girl thought, as she got into a taxi.

and can't keep whose introspection is focused in the same scene, might be accused of, quote, "Head-hopping".
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Posted 8/3/15 , edited 8/3/15
The main difficulty in writing for different characters in first person is how to distinguish between them personality-wise, voice-wise. If done well, the reader should be able to tell who the voice is without needing to be told. I would still suggest being told, though, especially if it's the only time you hear the story from this character's point of view. You mentioned having the chapter title be the name of the new narrator. This is a good way of doing it, but not the only way.

It's uncommon to find this type of storytelling, but I personally like the idea. I'm implementing it myself in a sense with a novel series I'm writing, but the character of perspective changes each book, not each chapter. Fist book was told by a man in his twenties, the second book by a middle-aged police officer, the third (which I am on now) is by an agent of the opposing faction, the fourth returns to the first's narrator, and the final will be from the perspective of a girl who is the focus of the series. In essence, I choose the character who would best be able to explain the events of the story at its present point. The reader gets a heads-up as to who the next narrator will be from a brief interlude involving said narrator.
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34 / F / The Bahamas
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Posted 8/3/15
Yes it is entirely possible to write in the first person for more than one character. Doing it well is another matter entirely. The best way of doing this is switching POV every chapter to avoid confusing the reader. It is also a good idea to indicate who is narrating at which point.

One thing I'd really like to see is someone who can put together that kind of narrative by changing the color or type of font depending on who was narrating. It might make the book more expensive but if the story was really good it would be worth it I think.
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Posted 8/3/15
It's very possible but it's not easy. The chapter-to-chapter switch is the easiest to do, as people have mentioned. I've seen some writers do it whenever they feel like it, and they somehow made that work. But you have to have complete command of what you are writing. It takes many years of writing to be able to do that and some people never are able to develop this particular skill.
xxJing 
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Posted 8/3/15
Doesn't Game of Thrones kind of do that?

Like each chapter is about a different character.
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20 / M / Sweden
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Posted 8/3/15

qualeshia3 wrote:

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.


Depends on how and if you've constructed your story to be in first person whit multiple characters. If you've done that then it'll probably be an easy task to switch around. However if you've written in first person as in just one person and then suddenly change tos someone else then you as an auther have to explain that the reader is reading about another charterer. Everything comes down to how you write, but the simple answer is yes it's possible
Posted 8/3/15
Just as others have said, you can, but you have to be careful, in different chapters for example so as not to confuse the reader. But its doable.
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