Getting to Step 8: Setting the Scenes (Gesichtpunkt*)
I must admit, laziness is hitting me hard at Step 7; which more or less says, ‘Bring the characters to life’. ‘[Describe] how they will change throughout the story?’ Right! Easier said than done. I’ve got my characters’ ages written down, their ultimate goals, their roles in the storyline and final epiphanies – if you want to call it that – but how will each of them change? That’s kind of tough to outline for each character if you think about it. Perhaps I’m overthinking this. I do have an extremely clear idea for four of my significant characters, but is it necessary for all? Do tell me, please. This is preventing me from diving headlong into Step 8: Setting the Scenes.
From whose point-of-view (POV) should I write this story? That is the main question. Should I write it from the perspective of one adolescent protagonist? What about many different perspectives? What narrative mode should I use to portray the character/s?
Joe Bunting* spoke about four prime modes of narration: First person, Second person, Third person – limited and Third person – omniscient. (Follow link for elaboration.) These four narrative modes serve their purposes well, although ‘Second person‘ is best suited for non-fiction / instructive books / fourth-wall fictions and ‘choose your adventure’ books. The other POVs are best suited for my kind of project.
(* https://thewritepractice.com/point-of-view-guide/ )
Here are examples of each mode:
First person -“I opened the door cautiously to avoid waking the little monsters.”
Second person – “You want to launch your brand, what should you do first?”
Third person, limited – “He lunged forward to grab the pistol.”
Third person, omniscient – “‘Bumbling fool,’ she thought as she made her way into the grandeur lobby.”
I remember a guy making a statement about writers who chose to use ‘Third person, omniscient‘. He said that it was a clear indicator that the author was an amateur. To him, professional authors should be capable of writing excellent tales in ‘First person‘. I am curious to know what others think about this matter. I don’t know how true this is or not, but I’m pretty sure I’ve read some crappy novels written in ‘First person‘. That aside, I have attempted ‘First person‘ before and discovered that I felt more comfortable and free using ‘Third person, limited‘. Therefore I’m leaning towards my bias. What says you?
I also found some good notes on when you can use ‘Third person, limited‘. A post from Now Novel * stated that ‘Third person, limited‘ may be used when you want to give your readers insight into the minds of different characters. “The advantage of this approach is that you can show the obsessions and foibles of multiple characters as they act on others and their surrounding world with partial awareness.”* This sounds perfect; once a human can keep it strictly limited to one main character per scene.
(* &  https://www.nownovel.com/blog/third-person-limited-examples/ )
Did I mention that I’m working on a story for a target audience between the ages of 12 and 18? Yes, many, many sighs. Herein lies the challenge of selecting the best narrative mode for your target audience. What would be the most appealing modus operandi for today’s young-uns? They are different human beings after all. 😅
* German word meaning ‘face point’.
Following previous blog: Struggles with Planning 📖