[Note: As part of my resolution to focus my life and mind on my writing, so too will this site reflect that. Gone, for the most part, will be social commentary, and other buggerboos that really mean little in the great expanse of time. Occasional things that I find neat-o, book acquisitions and the like will still be included. Although I am cutting back also on the pics with the posts. I just don’t have the time to make it all pretty. Besides, the subject is writing, not pictures!]
I was reading a little article on the multiple third person subjective POV. POV is an inexhaustible subject. There are just so many applications and uses possible. It is almost akin to talking keys in music.
This is simple random thoughts on the subject.
Part of the gist of this article was how not to confuse the reader with multiple POV’s. This would be like switching unintentionally in the middle of a scene, or giving information in the middle of a scene that we could only get if the POV had switched but it didn’t. Or simply switching the POV so frequently that the reader gets lost keeping track of who he is seeing the story through.
All of that is pretty basic stuff. But it occurs to me that I haven’t seen much serious play with perspective. That could be my limited experience or writers don’t fool around with rules as much as they could. Comedy uses experimental devices in perspective for certain effect – like a skit on the Death Star cafeteria or Darth Vader’s shoe shiner – things like that.
But I wonder about other applications. How about a story told from multiple third person subjective with unreliable narrators. Let’s say each perspective is a narrator who is a liar. But each lie or omission of their story paints a truth that is greater than the sum of their accounts.
How about a normal story with a few MTPS’s but with scenes that suddenly move, at important moments, to the man behind the deli counter at a mob assassination.
I’m not suggesting experimentation for the simple acrobatics of it (although writing should be fun and if you want to try it, why not?) or to nihilistic ends. I can see a trap where this could be easily put to undermining ends. A romance seen from the perspective of a flea infested dog, or a habitually masturbating warlock in the closet.
Of course, the man behind the deli counter doesn’t have to remain a peripheral character either. Perhaps his introduction is as a peripheral character witnessing a central event that brings him gravitationally into the center of events or even the mover of events. And perhaps the central mover of events is cast out of orbit to be a deli counter man.
It suddenly occurs to me why most time travel stories I have read are either first person, or single third person objective. Can you imagine (and if there already is one please tell me!) a science fiction story with time traveling shape-shifters told from unreliable MTPS POV’s.