First person

I saw the two people walk into the courtyard. They began to argue with each other, and then suddenly, they began to fight.

Note: Because I wasn't out there, I couldn't hear what they said, which is a limitation of first person. However, I could find out what was said later on by talking to one of the two people. (There are always ways to get around disadvantages.) Or, I could change the story and have my first person character in the courtyard in order to be able to relate what happens—but the presence of that character in the courtyard could also change what occurs.

Another issue is identifying the two men. My narrator would have to know them in order to do that.

If I changed the story and made my narrator either of the characters, then the issue would whether I am telling this as it occurs, or looking back. If I am telling as it occurs, then can my narrator still narrator while fighting?

2. Third person, deep insight, (which is what I call getting into one of your character's heads) It is as if you are telling the reader what is happening out there from Joe's point of view and he knows something about what is happening

Joe saw John walk into the courtyard with Ted. Joe could see that they were arguing and he knew they were still probably upset about their earlier confrontation over Madeline's boyfriend.

He saw John hold up his hands in a placating manner and say something. Then he noticed that Ted was yelling something back and John dropped his hands.

Joe jumped to his feet as he saw John grab the collar of Ted's windbreaker.

Note that everything that happens is being filtered through Joe's senses. And we have to 'trust' Joe's assumptions about the scene; for example, that the two are upset over the earlier confrontation. For all Joe knows, it might be something very different.

What many writers do to overcome this is use one of the advantages of third person, which is switch POVs from one character to another who has a better camera angle.

0 0

Post a comment