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December 5th, 2005, 04:30 PM
I began my book a month ago and had agreed that there would be 3 chapters to the journey (following 3 characters.) I began writing it in 3rd POV but as time progressed, I just wasn't enjoying it as much. Yet I kept with it and finished the first chapter/stage.
I started the second one and this time, switched to a 1st POV.
Now, it actually works as the first stage/chapter is mostly an introduction, that doesn't deal as closely to the characters' feelings, emotions, thoughts as it does with the environment and general behaviour. The second chapter, however, is one that focuses deeply on the mind and its process throughout the journey.
Yet is this valid? Has it been done before? If anything, I would change the 3rd POV stuff to 1st POV. But I still figured to ask if you can do this sudden switch without alienating the reader or losing him or her.


December 5th, 2005, 07:23 PM
You're writing in a mixed viewpoint format as opposed to just a 3rd person or 1st person viewpoint format. Mixed formats -- where the writer alternates by section or chapter between a third person format and first person -- are uncommon in sff but very common out in the rest of fiction land. They are more common in sf stories than in fantasy fiction. To see a good example of the form, check out thriller writer James Patterson's bestselling Alex Cross series -- "Along Came a Spider," etc. where he alternates between first person in Cross' policeman pov and third person for other characters.

My suggestion would be that if this is a first draft, simply leave it as is for the time being and keep writing in first or third, however the story occurs to you. Once you have a complete first draft, you can then figure out if you want a mixed format, or to change everything to either solely third person or first person.

December 5th, 2005, 08:26 PM
A good example of mixed multiple povs that is not SFF, is Andre Dubus III's House of Sand and Fog. He used 2 different first person povs and in the second half of the book, added another character pov in third person. The povs alternate chapters.