Friday, June 23, 2017

Third Person Limited Multiple is used by many 21st Century novelists

The most popular narrator of novels today is several people.

Third Person Limited Multiple (3PLM) is the viewpoint used by many 21st Century novelists, no matter what the genre, because there are so many advantages.

With 3PLM viewpoint, we discover more characters through their own responses.
The characters can be viewed in different places at the same time.
Chances for cliffhangers are easy to create.
It also makes the novel more exciting.

The use of 3PLM viewpoint has these benefits:  

Provides relief and variety for readers and helps you sustain their interest. Enables you to communicate more emotion to readers because they can vicariously live the role of each different narrator. Gives you greater scope in characterizing the narrators themselves and other characters as well, through the five senses of the narrators.  The major advantage 3PLM viewpoint has over first-person is the mobility of the writer's focus.

In first person singular and third person singular, any knowledge of other characters can only come from the protagonist. They can reveal what is happening only within their own vision, and can only assume what is happening to others beyond their vision.

With 3PLM viewpoint, the novel can develop greater variety through other fully developed characters. Multiple viewpoint moves with versatility into a greater range of character. When it comes to creating suspense, and providing cliffhangers and enriching the plot, multiple viewpoint is much more suitable.

Readers can be places the protagonist is not, and they can even overhear the antagonist plot their evil deeds. Readers can be allowed to know things the protagonist cannot know. It opens up your novel to adventures and intrigue. Even in a romance, readers can hear what the hot guy tells his friends about the protagonist girl.

In my first three books, most chapters were told from Veronica's viewpoint, in third-person, past tense, limited omniscience. However, I went to other characters' viewpoints when it served my purposes.

For example, I wrote the first two pages of Kill Cue, from the viewpoint of the guy being killed. Readers were able to be witnesses to the murder, which drives the plot.

I switched to Veronica’s viewpoint for the rest of the chapter and for all of Chapter 2. However, in the last scene of Chapter 5, I switched to the killer’s viewpoint like this:

He watched them walk along the concrete railing toward City Pier. Veronica and Glenn were both wearing blue and he was carrying a pink stuffed toy. Glenn was the target today. He would never get a chance to testify.

----- (From NOVEL SECRETS available in paperback and Kindle form.)

Lary Crews