Successfully pulling off multiple first-person viewpoints?:

Total posts: [6]
Samurai Troper
I have an ongoing continuity (originally done collaboratively), wherein each character has their own adventures. Two of the characters are central to the set of stories I have in mind, and they're together quite frequently.

I'd like to present the accounts in first-person, but for the two characters in question I have trouble deciding who should narrate what. For example, them meeting for the first time. One character, Michi, is a Really 700 Years Old samurai/angel/what have you. The other one, Chang, is a Raised by Wolves twelve-year-old girl who comes across him training one day and they begin developing a closer relationship (eventually having four children together.)

I'm trying to decide from whose perspective the meeting should be told.
2 Voltech4420th Mar 2012 08:47:23 AM from Alongside a Virtual Weasel , Relationship Status: Non-Canon
All Guns Sparking
At a base level, I say it could go either way...but for argument's sake, I'll ask this: who is stranger?

In one instance, Michi could spend some time observing this raised-by-wolves child and be totally mystified by her (in spite of being ancient). Her motions, her actions, her words, her mannerisms, all these and more could make for some interesting observations and thoughts.

In another, Chang could contribute a different voice to the story — a sense of innocence, of curiosity, what have you. Maybe show why she'd want to start developing a bond with Michi.

But like I said, it could go either way. Just choose what suits your story best.
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Samurai Troper
Well, Chang wasn't so much Raised by Wolves as ran away from her home when she was younger and came across the training compound where they both currently live when they meet.

Chang was experimented on and subjected to Parental Incest, and she ran away, basically becoming a waif when the Dojang (the organisation they're part of) took her in. Michi's been a member of the Dojang only a short time and not really associated with a lot of people. His first impression of her is that she's very malnourished and doesn't seem to be cared for at all so a kind of protective instinct kicks in. Plus she reminds him of someone whose family he sword to protect a few centuries back, but he and the reader don't know for sure that she is their descendant.

Chang's just wandering around the ground (they've taken her in and allowed her to stay, but he doesn't know that). Her impression of him that he looks really lonely/sad and needs a friend.

Another factor: Chang is pretty much completely illiterate.

edited 20th Mar '12 9:03:49 AM by TomoeMichieru

Samurai Troper
For background information: main trope page and character sheet.

edited 20th Mar '12 9:09:20 AM by TomoeMichieru

5 Voltech4420th Mar 2012 10:40:24 AM from Alongside a Virtual Weasel , Relationship Status: Non-Canon
All Guns Sparking
Huh. Didn't know you had a page set up for it. Guess someone's been busy...

Anyway, in light of [up][up] I say...well, I still say it could go either way based on your preference. If it were up to me, though, I'd write from Michi's perspective first. It seems like he has a finger on the pulse of the plot (from what I can gather, at least), so his perspective on things might offer more clarity and narrative direction than Chang's. It could also be a chance to develop his character in a new way almost immediately, based on his thoughts and interactions.

Still, I find Chang very interesting. If she really is a Stepford Smiler, then writing from her perspective first might give readers an insight to her depths...though how early you want to reveal that she's more than what she seems is something you've probably considered.

Well, that's how I see it, at least. Doubtless you've got this thing all planned out, so I don't have much of a reason to doubt you. Whatever way you decide to take it, I'll be rooting for you.
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The Puzzler
To answer the title, yes you can write multiple first-person viewpoints but it is a bit difficult to pull off.

To answer the OP, write both then see which is the best one.
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Total posts: 6