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Multiple books with 1st P.POV or one with 3rd P.POV omniscient?
Avmorket Friovaer
Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2013 12:57 PM
Joined: 8/7/2013
Posts: 5

At first, I thought it might be a new idea, but thinking more on it, and seeing posts here, it's obviously not.  My current 'series' of books planned (5 total) takes the first 4 as a 1st person POV of each of the main character covering different starting timelines, and ending at the same point.  Each character's personality, thoughts, and individual backstory will be portrayed in their own book.  The 5th book, would be a sequel to where the first 4 end off.  


There would be some repetitive scenes, with the first 4 books, however, it would show it from a different person's perspective, and thusly give a reader a completely different view of the world seen. 


What are your thoughts on the process/idea?  Could it work well, or would it be better to write with more of a 3rd person omniscient POV?


My only concern would be how to include the back stories of main characters, obviously I could write flashbacks, or as in some series, write a follow-on book, giving the back much to think about and decide.  It shouldn’t be too hard to switch from the 1st person POV to 3rd if it would work better that way.


--edited by Avmorket Friovaer on 8/8/2013, 12:59 PM--

Toni Smalley
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2013 10:25 PM

This is my own personal opinion. I don't know if I could read the same plot four different times, even if it is from four different POVs. 

I like how J.R. Ward constructed her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. It deals with the same characters from book to book, with each book focusing on the story of one of the brothers. Each book picks up roughly where the last one left off, and she centers the new book's plot on the new brother. She utilizes multiple POVs to strengthen the main plot and to weave in other subplots as well.

That's just my two cents Good luck!

Jay Greenstein
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013 10:05 PM
Avmorket Friovaer wrote:


 My current 'series' of books planned (5 total) takes the first 4 as a 1st person POV of each of the main character covering different starting timelines, and ending at the same point.

 It appears that you're thinking in terms of the Story, with that capital S. So you're exploring that in several ways. But readers aren't interested in Story. They're interested in the moment-to-moment events. And they want to be made to live those events. They want you to place them on the scene, as a character, to experience everything that matters to that character exactly-as-they-do. They want to be made to worry, and feel the time pressure the protagonist does. Readers feed on uncertainty and worry. Make a reader stop, shake their head, and say, "Oh my god, what do we do now?" and you have a happy reader. Lecture them and you have one closing the cover.
If you're really placing the reader into the mind of the protagonist we will know the other characters, just as we know people in our own lives, through their actions and words. So after you tell me the story, what possible reason would I have to want to read it again in someone else's POV?  I already know how it comes out!
As for presenting backstory, that's easy. Don't. No one cares but you. Backstory is history, and for every second of the time you're info-dumping that history lesson on the class nothing is happening in the story. That is an absolutely critical point because no one wants to have the story they're enjoying stop dead for a a lecture that has nothing to do with what the protagonist is thinking/planning/doing in the moment that character calls "now." That's detail you need to know to write. But a protagonist making a decision will use the result of all that experience, they won't stop what they're doing to think of how they came to have that knowledge/attitude/need/etc. If the protagonist spent ten years with the circus, and is about to do something based on that training, a simple line saying, "George breathed a thank you for the ten years he spent with the circus, before he..." And while we might be curious about that, stopping the action there to explain it will kill all momentum that scene might have developed.


The short version: tell the story, not about the story. Make the reader live the events in real-time. Start the scene clock ticking, cue your actors, and don't stop that clock till the scene ends.

Avmorket Friovaer
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 6:56 PM
Joined: 8/7/2013
Posts: 5

Thanks for the advice, makes a lot of sense when reading from another's point of view.  I may continue as I am; change with the considerations at mind, and just do one book in 1st person POV, incorporating the others side actions into the story as importance requires; or change the POV more of a 3rd person limited (to the 4 main chars), that you can see what's going on apart from the primary main char.  Probably would be good to keep the same POV between books as well, else it could get too confusing.  Again, thanks for the helpful advice.

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