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Another Post About Point of View

Today's post, "Again with the Point of View Stuff," another post about writing point of view, can be found at http://magicalwords.net.  Please visit the site and, of course, enjoy.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
sartorias
Jan. 12th, 2009 03:08 pm (UTC)
Have an appt soon (and when I get back LJ will have 2,000 more posts) so saying quick, I love first for the reasons you say. Nice post!
davidbcoe
Jan. 12th, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Sherwood!
sizztheseed
Jan. 13th, 2009 03:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks for another interesting discussion. I've been thinking about it as well since your last post, in particular how Gene Wolfe gets past the limits of first person narration by making the same narrator that is telling the story be the character of the story he is telling. Graves did something very similar in "I, Claudius", which I suspect is what influenced Mr. Wolfe.

But back on topic, there's one gimmick that I'm not sure is a great idea, but I'm using it anyway. I first saw in in Frank Herbert, where he writes Dune from the multiple third person narrative, but the voice that represents the "I" of the "he/she" you are writing about does show up in italics as their thoughts. This is used with very good effect in several places, but especially in the tactical complexities of the Baron's relationship with his nephew, Feyd, and in the scene where Jessica meets Shadeout Mapes.

One problem with this approach, though, is that italicization has to do three jobs: emphasis in dialog, declaration of the "foreign" word as another language, and finally the narrative behind the eyes of the narrated.


davidbcoe
Jan. 13th, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC)
Italics do mean several different things in books -- I have this problem as well. Sometimes I use them to introduce a previously unknown term, sometimes they indicate the name of a ship, sometimes they're used to indicate internal thoughts of the POV character. It does also serve as a way of indicating emphasis, though I use it this way sparingly. But you're right about this. We have to rely on our readers to discern our purpose in using italics from context.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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