具有多個主要字符的第一人稱視角


11

我真的很愛-而且大部分時間都寫在-first person point of view

我正在寫的小說與以前的小說有些不同。我有四個主要角色-我認為他們中的任何一個都不比其他人重要-每個人都有自己的情節(甚至可以通過某種方式聯繫起來故事)。

就像我說的那樣,我喜歡用第一人稱寫東西。我正在考慮為每個章節加上主導字符的名稱(因為將從單個字符的角度告訴每個章節),並以第一人稱寫內容。

Example: Mark - The Wishing Well

我的疑問是:是這樣做的嗎,還是讀者可能會以第一人稱視角來對待不同章節中的不同字符而感到困惑?

我見過這種類型的替代物-以多個主要字符的字符名稱命名的章-但總是從第三人稱角度來看。我真的不確定我應該繼續使用第一人稱還是繼續使用第三人稱代替它。

1

The key with first person point of view is that your character's voice has to come through. So if you write three separate first persons, they all have to sound different meaning the writing style has to be distinct for each one. You can't just slap a character name on the chapter and hope your reader can go by that alone if there is no other context or way to distinguish who's speaking.

It might be easier to choose a main narrator, write that one in first person and then write everyone else in third person.


2

As lonehorseend said, it's important to make sure characters seem different - but adding the character's names is very important.

Case in point - go read some of the I Am Number Four novels, particular the second and third novels. They swap (in third person) to different characters, without even using asterisks as breaks. It's nearly impossible to determine which character is which, and it makes for a very confusing read.

Even if you have to fall to traditional tropes, make your characters unique. Eg, have a 'bitter and moody' character, a 'mysterious past' character, a 'ditzy, but means-well' character etc. Overplay it a little bit, but the reader will clearly understand the differences between the POVs.

To be honest, I would go with placing the character's name at the start of the chapter - if you even think for a moment that a reader might get confused, then don't be ambiguous about it, and put the name there. There's no harm in putting it in.


8

I've read at least one book which successfully did this; the author just titled each chapter "Bruno" and "Melusine," depending on whose perspective it was. The timeline was mostly chronological, although there was some overlap so we see how one felt about the other's actions. It worked perfectly fine for me.

It's not subterfuge. Label each chapter, throw in a time stamp if you want to be crystal clear, and you're fine.


4

I think this is a terrific, creative idea, but you have to be very skillful to pull it off. I agree that each character has to be rendered very distinctively. Ken Kesey did something like this on his novel Sometimes a Great Notion which is a wonderful family saga where different points of view are distinguished by italics and normal fonts.


4

If you need a great example of this, read As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. Each chapter was told from a different 1st person POV character, and the chapters were labeled with just the character's name. The voices are very distinctive, and after awhile, I didn't need to read the chapter title to know who was narrating that chapter.


2

I am currently also writing in first person with multiple character point of views.. at two instances the stories overlap.. it's really not too difficult to do.. tricky, but not too difficult. The trick is not to switch too quickly between characters, as with 3rd person. Using 1st person is a brilliant way to really get inside each character's head, especially if they are very different. My 3 main characters are worlds apart. Darian is witty, sarcastic, clever and a deep thinker Ynara is very observant, but clear-cut. Asjghar is angry, bitter and vulgar.

I have chapters with their titles and then subheadings that indicate in whose head you are at the moment..

On another note I am currently reading a series of novels that read in first person as the main character. When you follow any of the other characters it is narrated in third person. I think it is wildly creative, but she neglects to let you know right away who you are following. Can be frustrating..

I wish you all the best in your writing journey!


2

There's a French sci-fi novel, "La Horde du Contrevent" by Alain Damasio, that does exactly this.

Actually, it's even more complicated than that: there's ~15 protagonists, and each of them may be the (first-person) dominant char for ~10s paragraphs. When there's a switch, there's only a symbol (not the name!) of the new speaking character. But there's more: the feat is: each character has a very specific style of speech (poetic, slang, scholar, "normal", funny, ...).

At first, you're a bit lost, but after a few chapters, you can easily guess who is speaking simply by reading 2 ou 3 sentences. This also make you know the characters as if they were in your real life.

This is a huge piece of sci-fi (everyone I know who read it loved it), and the author has a real linguistic talent. I think it may be translated to English in the next months/years (I wish good luck to the translator!)

The main point is: don't add too much information. Trust the readers. They may love guessing what's happening; this may even be a huge appeal of your book. Don't tell too much, show.


1

I have read a series that alternated between two to for main characters every chapter or so an it was really well written. It was all in first person and it didn't get confusing at all each time it would switch character point of view it would tell you which character it was turning to. The series is called The Wolves of Mercy Falls it is really good at that kind of story telling method.


0

I've definitely seen it done and enjoyed those books. Done right, it's not confusing but you need to separate by chapters and label by name. If people aren't paying attention, they may not realize who is the subject of the chapter until a little while in but that's something you can't help.