Point of view but more specifically changing it during a story.
At the moment, I’ve picked up my first James Patterson book ever. I’ve see the movies with Alex cross (all of which are excellent except the most recent one) but I’ve never read one of his books. What’s struck me about ‘1st Degree’ the first in the ‘Women’s murder club’ series is the change in point of view. I haven’t seen this in a book I’ve read in a while nor is it something I’ve ever done in the stories I’ve written. I won’t go ruining it for the people out there who haven’t read it and plan to, but essentially the main protagonist is written first person point of view. Whereas the main antagonist is written as a third person point of view but only limited to what they can see and experience. I’m loving the change. I’m enjoying the movement from the deep insights of the main protagonists life, how she makes sense of her world, how her inner demons influence her outer persona. Then Patterson slips to the main antagonist and we see a more superficial side to him. Not too deep but we learn about the outer conflicts with the world around him.
I can see the drawbacks to each point of view though. I’d love to learn a little more about the ‘bad guys’ inner turmoil. The same level of detail as the main protagonist would be nice so we can see both characters from a level playing field. Books like ‘I am Legend’ by Richard Matheson are seen from the first person viewpoint of the protagonist for the entirety of the book. By the last page you feel like you know the characters deeply, almost on a personal level. First person perspective needs strong characters with many layers to uncover. Single dimensional characters will take up too few words to make a novel length story possible. Put them in a third person perspective, add a few more characters and some crazy shenanigans and you could carve a book out of it. Not sure how good it would be but you’d have one.
My current novel is written in a third person point of view. I’ve limited to one person at a time though. Reading a story that bounces from one person’s thoughts to another, I find difficult to follow. I like to ‘Keep It Simple Stupid’ when I read and write. I’ve written other stories using the first person. I read that this was easier to do. For me I found the opposite. The first person it much much harder, the level of detail you need to have on your character is immense. Maybe I haven’t quite graduated to that level of creation yet but for me third person is by far, a more manageable way to write.
Anyway, here a web page I use to remind myself if I’ve moved point of view or that I am, actually writing from the point of view I say I am… http://www.ohio.edu/people/hartleyg/ref/fiction/pov.html
So let me know. What point of view do you write in and do you like to change it up during the story?