POV Problem

For the Critters workshop and writing SF/F/H in general.
  • Ads

POV Problem

Postby Quercus47 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:41 am

Hello all!

I'm new here and looking for discussion and advice. I'm working on a sci-fi story that centers on a father-daughter pair escaping from a bad situation in the near future. The story is more suspense/thriller than action/adventure in its flavor.

My dilemma is that I've chosen the father as my main POV character. I have two other POV characters involved in side plots, but as I originally planned it, everything we know about the daughter is told through the father's eyes. However, I have a series of events in the first few chapters that would really be best told from the daughter's POV.

I'm worried that if I switch to daughter's POV for a few chapters and then never return, continuing only from the father's POV, that it will be perceived as a bait-n-switch and/or readers will be wondering what ever happened? i could add the daughter's POV throughout the book, which might dilute the plot from the father's perspective, or I could tell tell these events through the father's eyes as back-story or him hearing it from his daughter, but I don't think this will be as effective. Or, of course, I could just revise the plot.

Thoughts on the consequences of using her POV for a few chapters and then never returning?

Thanks all!
Quercus47
Name: Mark
Sprout
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:07 pm

Re: POV Problem

Postby crit19292 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:33 am

I am glad that you simply accept this as being a problem. From what you said, I would submit that it would be best to have the father relate the events. Note that stories are always past events, as no one runs around with dictation devices. While the chapters with the father can be first person, the narration should still be past tense (present tense tales really do not make sense). The only change for the reader will be having the father go from being narrator to first person, which should not be troublesome at all.

Let me however also state my point of view. It is often not the reader that becomes distressed by certain things, but the editor. Editors exist in a world where the belief is that minimum (or no) complications means larger sales. As a reader, I like twists and complexities. Putting them into stories however means they probably will not be published.
I will not deny myself having my opinions.
User avatar
crit19292
Name: Roby Ward
Tree
 
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:53 pm
Location: North Louisiana

Re: POV Problem

Postby Quercus47 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:23 pm

Thank you. Keeping with the Father's POV has been my lean too. Thank you for the feedback.
Quercus47
Name: Mark
Sprout
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:07 pm

Re: POV Problem

Postby crit33324 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:33 pm

I have to say first that I'm not too keen on present tense tales. However, they've become exceedingly popular in this highly me-centered world. The predominant POV, historically, is omniscient. However, it is the most difficult to write, because readers can become easily confused if the author doe not clearly separate the voices. This can mean using only one POV per scene, or it can mean separating each character's POV into paragraphs where you make it clear who is speaking and thinking.

I think the more complex you make your story - the more sub-plots, the more active characters, the more complex the issues - the more you need to consider the omniscient POV. In such stories, first person and second person are near impossible. Third person is possible. But making such a story third person omniscient will allow you to explore the issues you raise from different perspectives - present a more deeply thought out view.
crit33324
Name: Jerold Tabbott
Sprout
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:32 am
Location: Earth

Re: POV Problem

Postby crit33321 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:44 pm

I've read all sorts of stories with all sorts of POV's, ranging from first person present to third person past to omniscient past. Any type of POV and tense can be done well, or can be done horribly, depending on the skill of the author.

I guess the question to ask is: how big of a story are you working with here? If this is a novel, you have plenty of room to show the story through multiple points of view. If it's a short story, you're probably only going to have room for one point of view.

I think it was Orson Scott Card who said your point of view character should be the one who stands the most to lose, the one in the most jeopardy.

Try it a couple of different ways and from several points of view and see who's story seems the most compelling, the one who provides you with the most passion for finishing it.

Hope that helps,
Morgan
crit33321
Name: Morgan Broadhead
Sapling
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 5:56 pm

Re: POV Problem

Postby crit33888 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:56 pm

I think you're instinct is right that using her POV only in the beginning and never again could be problematic, especially if you're switching back and forth between others. You an make this work though. Rewrite a section or two of the later parts from her POV instead of father's. It's a challenge!
crit33888
Name: J. Neff Lind
Sapling
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:26 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: POV Problem

Postby crit33888 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:58 pm

crit33324 wrote:
I think the more complex you make your story - the more sub-plots, the more active characters, the more complex the issues - the more you need to consider the omniscient POV. In such stories, first person and second person are near impossible. Third person is possible. But making such a story third person omniscient will allow you to explore the issues you raise from different perspectives - present a more deeply thought out view.


I tend to agree with this. I'm currently working on an omniscient narrator who has a very colloquial voice which is my compromise for giving up the fun of first person writing. Omniscient narrators don't need to be dry and boring in their style.
crit33888
Name: J. Neff Lind
Sapling
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:26 pm
Location: Illinois

  • Ads

Return to Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Writing

cron