Would switching perspective bother anyone as a reader?


#1

In the game I’m working on, both the prologue and very beginning of the first scene are in third person past tense, then it switches to second person present tense. It’s the same scene. First it’s an overview of the setting in the prologue then it focuses on a different character interaction before switching perspective. My reason for this being that MC is listening to the previous scene from a wire on one of the characters. I figured kicking it off that way would be more interesting than simply going straight into MC just listenig to dialogue, but I could also see how the transition may be a bit jarring.


#2

The main thing is to be clear. If your narration is clear I think the approach will be unique and if done well, it could be something that differentiates you as an CoG/Hosted author.

The danger is in the confusion and continuity.

But I’d at least try it; you’ll at least learn stuff.


#3

Maybe put that in quotes or italics so it’s clear it’s from a different perspective?


#4

I plan to put out a demo when I finish the first scene, so I suppose I’ll get my answer then, then😄 I would say it’s done well but my own opinion may, in fact, be biased.


#5

kind of hard to say without being able to read it in it’s entirety.

looking forward to it, sounds interesting.


#6

It’s a decent size piece of writing so I feel that might make it more confusing than anything. And personally I have difficulty reading portions of writing if it’s all in italics.


#7

I don’t think it would be confusing, Saga of the North Wind did the same thing for whole scenes too (italics).


#8

I do switch pov too And I found it great. Try to be clear about the changes for don’t cause confusion.


#9

You know, I’ve been participating in these recent threads that have been talking about POV and it seems to have slipped my mind that in the second chapter of our game, we totally DO switch to first person in the 2nd chapter when Vex possesses the MC. In order to better differentiate from the reader just playing as MC to the reader being controlled by a demon and hearing his thoughts while still playing as the now dominated MC. Geez, I hope that makes sense! :sweat_smile:

So, that said, I completely support this kind of experimentation and would definitely try out a game that attempted to do so. I agree with the other posters who say it can be tricky and should be done well to avoid confusion. I find that making sure you have very clearly defined the differences for yourself as the writer and try to make the switch as obvious and logical as possible to the reader it makes it easier.


#10

I wouldn’t call it a ‘bother’, more like a personal preference. I tend to prefer stories that focus on the POV of one character (the MC) because then its easier for me keep track of what is going on and when and also because I tend to get emotionally invested in them, more so than any sub-character you throw at me. When you add too many POV, and aren’t clear about the switches, it can be quite confusing.


#11

If the story calls for it then I don’t mind at all. I’m working on something that goes from third person to second person as well. Only thing that would get me was if it the pov wasn’t clear. Just make it clear enough for the reader to clearly understand the switch. Maybe add the name at the start like novels do in italics or something.


#12

Question: are you talking like character to character or from first person to third person?


#13

It might work, if you ask me. But the prose needs to be clean and consistent, lest the work becomes confusing.

But I don’t think switching perspectives to a whole game would do it much good, rather, I’d only use it here and there, if I where you. A good example would be Champion of the Gods, which uses other characters as protagonists to a certain extent.


#14

What @Vertigo said. If the prose is clean, the occasional change of pov can be quite interesting. As long as it isn’t overused. The story must be told (at least 90%/95% of it) from the PC’s perspective. NPC’s point-of-views can contribute to world and character building without overusing exposition conversations. So go ahead with it! :smiley:


#15

I’ve seen it done before and I didn’t find it jarring. So you’ve got my seal of approval.


#16

I was originally going to agree with the “jarring” part (I’m picky about pov) but then @MizArtist33 pointed out the possession scene, and I remembered thinking “Well. So that’s how pov switches are meant to work.” It was a neat trick that made me feel as helpless as my character.

So yeah, I think in this context, where it serves a purpose (keeping the story active, and focusing on the characters that are driving the plot) it could work. It depends on how it’s written, of course, and how it’s kept separate from the rest of the narrative. Just make sure it actually adds to the narrative, and that you keep it limited (too much cheapens the effect and gets distracting)