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Questions On Perspectives.:

Razzin-Frazzin Robot
I'm writing a novel that's from a first-person perspective and I have some questions.

  • Does the entire novel have to take place from one character's perspective?

  • Should the prolouge have the perspective character introduce themselves?

  • Can the perspective character talk about things they didn't know about at that point of the story but find out about later?

No. To all of them.

There are no hard-and-fast rules as to how to handle any kind of perspective, other than to do it with purpose.

Does the entire novel have to take place from one character's perspective?

Switching narrators is actually sort of common in literature, but look if the different perspectives add anything different to the story that couldn't be shown another way.

Should the prologue have the perspective character introduce themselves?

I believe most literature written in first person has the character introduce themselves to other characters, or have a character call them by name. No non-amateur work of literature that I have seen has begun with the narrator introducing themselves to you, the reader. As a side note, take a good look at your story to see if you really need a prologue, or if it's just a glorified first chapter. I realize that page is about fantasy prologues, but I think its advice applies to all genres.

Can the perspective character talk about things they didn't know about at that point of the story but find out about later?

They can narrate from whatever point during or after the action. Again, no real rules on this.
Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame.
As always, it depends on the execution. You have to make sure it makes sense, though. If you want your narrator to mention things discovered after the fact, you might want a framing device that makes this make sense. The conceit that the character is actually telling you this (unlike a lot of first person stories) and therefore might actually address the reader or pull out of the story (however obliquely) is possible, though not necessarily easy to pull off well. It's easy to destroy immersion if you do it badly.

It usually is advised to not combine multiple POVs with first person storytelling—it's not automatically bad but it can get confusing if all if these POVs are in first person, and it's especially noticeable if all their voices are similar. If you can pull off different voices and eliminate the confusion, it could work. Something like one POV being first person and the rest third person can eliminate that problem, but it might have an effect on your story you don't want.

From the same writer as above, some advice on viewpoints, and first person in particular.

edited 28th Feb '13 10:04:02 AM by greedling

You will not go to space today.
KW
1) No. 2) Easier is to name the chapter after the character in question. 3) Maybe. If it's made clear that the character is looking back, then go ahead. Otherwise, the audience may be confused.
Like fantasy? Like Samurai stories? check this out.
 5 Mr AHR, Wed, 28th Aug '13 7:18:59 AM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
KW: You should really stop necro'ing all these threads, dude, it's kinda in bad taste.
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Total posts: 5
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