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View Poll Results: Lable "I" characters:
Yes, in the chapter heading and no tranistion text 15 26.79%
Yes, in the chapter heading and also with transition text 3 5.36%
No in the chapter heading, but yes in the transition text 7 12.50%
Does not matter, either/both works for me. 31 55.36%
Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-26-2012, 09:45 PM   #1
VydorScope
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Question for READERS :) On perspective

So as an author, I tend to write in the FIRST PERSON point of view. I also tend to have 2-3 main characters that can take the "I" position. I try to make who ever is the "I" character obvious in the first paragraph


I do not in general hear from my readers so I have to guess things based on the little feed back I do get, and hope it extrapolates out.

I hear TWO competing views...

1) One group of readers state they would prefer I put the name of the "I" character as the heading of the chapter. Seems that this group tends to have a higher occurrence of YA readers then the other group, but sample size is not big enough to validate that observation.

2) The second group tells me that is unnecessary and my transitions are normally well done and easy to follow.

So my question for all of you is this... assuming a couple-few main characters do you prefer the "I" character be placed in the chapter heading or handled by the text of the story itself?
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:29 PM   #2
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I've seen both. Neither one particularly bothers me, as long as I can tell who's speaking (if not labeled).

From the school that says it's a mistake for the writing to make the reader notices the author, I would think that using POV headings would - even just for a moment - pull the reader out of the story, and I'd think from that school of thought, any POV headings would be a mistake.

OT - 1st person present tense ALWAYS pulls me out of the story. I know that's not true of everyone, but I've stopped buying books at all, if I know they're 1P,PT.

Last edited by FizzyWater; 11-27-2012 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:31 PM   #3
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Oh... good point. I should mention its past tense.
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:51 PM   #4
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I think it is better in the transition text rather than in the chapter heading.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:38 AM   #5
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In general I strongly dislike first person. I don't know why, but it's harder for me to sink into the story with first person books, and so I generally avoid them.

I agree with FizzyWater that first person present tense is right out... except for the audio book versions of Chris Grabenstein's John Ceepak novels, which for some obscure reason over-ride my general dislike of first person. But they're the only exception I can think of.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:13 PM   #6
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As long as I know who the POV character is I don't really care.
Though I have a slight preference to the way it's done in the Song of Ice and Fire books (not 1st person, I know) because it lets me see right away what awaits me in the chapter.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abtacha View Post
As long as I know who the POV character is I don't really care.
Though I have a slight preference to the way it's done in the Song of Ice and Fire books (not 1st person, I know) because it lets me see right away what awaits me in the chapter.
How is that?
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:29 PM   #8
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As the author you must have a style, a view on the novel you are composing. Whether you take one type of view or another is not too relevant to me, what matters is that whatever view you take, that it is well written and interesting to read. You must find out if your story is better told from this or that perspective and when you succeed at that, people will like your book
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:39 PM   #9
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I like to know straight away who's talking so I voted for chapter headings. Unless it's important for the story that I be kept in the dark e.g. the murderer is talking but we don't know who that is yet. Putting the information in the first paragraph would seem like a delicate balancing act to me. Make it too obvious and it seems clunky, not obvious enough and it's frustrating as I'm distracted by trying to work it out. Either way it would take me out of the story until I was happy I knew who it was.

Having the name in the chapter heading if it's not needed seems like no downside to me.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:55 PM   #10
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If you only used character names in the chapter headings, then your Table of Contents would end up difficult to navigate as the same names would interchange.

Instead, you can add a higher level of classification above the chapters (like Parts) or a lower level (like sub-chapters) where you indicate the speaker.


See how Barbara Kingsolver handled it in Animal Dreams. Click on the Look Inside feature of her book and look at the TOC.

http://www.amazon.com/Animal-Dreams-...4042085&sr=1-9
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:58 AM   #11
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So the poll results so far are interesting.

The biggest group of people just do not care. If I remove them, then it seems roughly split between put in the chapter headings, and do not put in the chapter headings. Kind of what I expected, but I was hoping for something clearer.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:14 AM   #12
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Something, some way, needs to convey whose POV we are reading within a few paragraphs.

OSFA method is not the answer

I do endorse maintaining a consistent style within a book (or the whole series)
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:28 AM   #13
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It doesn't matter as long as it fits the story being told. I'd prefer it be in the story itself not the chapter names/headings, but either really works, it truly does depend on the story and the skill of the author in making the transition clear.

I'm actually toying with an idea/outline right now that would have different first person narrators for each chapter and have never considered putting it in the chapter title.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:15 AM   #14
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Multiple first-person viewpoints is a bit oddball - I'd normally expect a single viewpoint in first, and multiple viewpoints in third (or multiple viewpoints with one first and others third) - but as long as I'm not confused (or, not by accident, at least) I'm fine.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:26 PM   #15
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It helps if each of the multiple first person viewpoints has their own voice - I think that is as important as broadcasting in the chapter title or where ever who the speaker is.
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