padyluppet asked for Atton/Exile from KOTOR 2, with the prompt:
Lygerastia - The condition of one who is only amorous when the lights are out.
Writing Multiple Characters’ POV
Writing Multiple Characters’ POVs
There is a draw to writing from the point of view of multiple characters. You can show different places semi-simultaneously, you can show different things in the same place, and you can show what different characters are thinking or feeling, as well as a number of other things. The thing about writing from the POV of multiple characters is that it can go wrong and make the story more confusing if you aren’t careful.
There are two ways that this can manifest itself. This can either be done through first person or through third person limited. Third person omniscient can be seen as switching multiple viewpoints because it shows multiple people, but that’s not what I’m going to talk about.
When writing first person POV for multiple characters, it needs to be made explicitly clear when the POV is being switched. Chapter breaks are the best place to do this. Put the character’s name at the beginning of the chapter or do something else that makes it, no questions asked, totally clear who is talking at this point. It can be really confusing to get halfway through a chapter before you are told for certain who is narrating.
When writing third person POV for multiple characters, you have a little bit more leeway, because you pretty much by definition have to introduce the character when you describe what they are doing. That being said, you should still have some sort of break. Paragraph breaks are the bare minimum for switching between characters; section breaks within chapters or even chapter breaks are usually a safer bet.
One thing that almost never works is switching between first person and third person. If you have one main character that tells 95% of the story in first person, randomly switching to someone else’s thoughts in third person is immensely confusing. If you are considering that, think about whether it is really necessary to do that. If you do need to show the other character’s POV, try to figure out a less abrupt way of doing it.
There are essentially three different ways to use multiple character’s POVs. The first is within one book. The second is in interconnected books in the same series. The third is in non-interconnected books in the same universe.
If they’re within the same book, they should all contribute something to the story. If you have five characters that you’re telling from the POV of, they shouldn’t all be describing the same place at the same time. It doesn’t help anything. If you look at A Song of Ice and Fire, you see that a lot of the characters are in different places from each other when their POV chapters are taking place. All of them together tell a story in a way that none of them would have been able to individually.
Interconnected books in the same series with different POV characters are commonly used in romance series. If you look at J. R. Ward or Carolyn Jewel or many other romance series authors, you see that each of their books has a different main character who tells the story (whether through first person or third person). Once one character has had their story, their time as the MC has finished. That doesn’t mean that they don’t necessarily come back in later books, whether as POV characters are just as characters who appear. The new books just don’t have them as the main character.
Non-interconnected books in the same universe generally have different POV characters. This can be done either like as seen in Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress, Night Prince, and Night Huntress World books, where they feature a lot of the same characters but each series/standalone book can be read independently, or like as seen in the Crimson City series by Carolyn Jewel/Liz Maverick/Jade Lee/Patti O’Shea, where each book involves the same city but has different MCs and different authors.
If you have multiple POVs in the same book, it is important to limit the number you have. Only have POV characters that are vitally important to your story. The more you have, the more complicated and confusing it will be for you and for your readers, so you should limit it. Determine if each additional character is adding to your story in a way that could not done without them. If so, you should include them. If not, you should probably figure out a way around including them as a POV character.
Write characters as they are seen the same way they act. What that means is that your POV characters can’t act differently when they are being seen through their POV than when they are being seen through another character’s POV.
Writing multiple characters’ POV can be a great tool, but you also need to be careful. If you do it wrong, it can make the story incredibly confusing for the reader, which does not help your story at all.
French Infantry Gladius Sword 1831 Pattern
The French Infantry Pattern Gladius 1831 was the Infantry’s side arm. The swords features a Neo-classical design, based on the Roman Gladius sword. This examples has a hilt which is constructed entirely of brass and a patterned grip with raised ribs.
The sword has a double-edged, diamond-cross-section blade, measuring 46 cm in length; it was made by Talabot Paris. This sword was used by the Foreign Legion, created in March 1831 by Louis Philippe, for the North African expeditions and also travel to Mexico and Crimea.
The American Model 1832 Foot Artillery Sword, the British Land Transport Corps Private Hanger’s Pattern 1855 and the Russian Pattern 1848 are all very similar to the French Infantry Gladius 1831 Pattern.
Engraved folding trigger pinfire revolver with gold and silver decorations. Most likely of Belgian origins, mid 19th century.
THIS IS A REALLY IMPORTANT POST ABOUT HAN SOLO’S SWEET ASS.
They have a choice: They can live in my new world or they can die in their old one.
Lawlessness, Anarchy, and Power Vacuums
There is an allure to writing lawless areas, the Wild West with duels every other day or fantastical inner cities with areas that that police can’t reach. The problem is that these areas, while existing, don’t always exist how people see them in stories. There are essentially three aspects to writing a region like this: lawlessness, anarchy, and power vacuums.
True lawlessness, where there are no written or unwritten laws of any kind, is virtually impossible to maintain. Societal norms act as a set of unwritten laws, where the punishment may not be imprisonment or fine but is instead isolation, shaming, or one of many other such responses. An area with no written laws is more likely to exist, especially in a tribal or splintered region where there may not be any sort of central government, but if there aren’t written laws, there will probably at least be some set of spoken and generally accepted rules.
Places can have actions be legal (or illegal) that way in wherever you are from, and that does not mean that they are lawless. For example, Taliban-controlled Afghanistan experienced mass numbers of rapes and murders while being a very heavily controlled and structured region. In the drug-lord controlled slums, the drug lords would set the rules. Rape might be commonplace while theft is highly punishable. Stealing from unprotected stores might be allowed while stealing from the main power might be entirely forbidden. These aren’t laws that you might be used to, but they are still rules with a governing and enforcing body behind them.
Anarchy in a political sense is a lack of a centralized government or overarching authority, which is how I’m going to use it in this part. While there is an implication of violence associated with the term, violence is not necessary in an anarchic system. As proof, in international relations, the world is considered to be anarchic because there is no hegemonic power that rules the world. This works—clearly—on a macro level. On a micro level, this does not work quite as well, because while centralized authorities provide clear rules, they also provide enforcement and protection. In a town, for instance, the town government sets the town laws and enforces them with the police force. If this didn’t happen, there would be a lot of violence initially during the power vacuum (which will be covered in a little bit) and then makeshift authorities would inevitably set themselves up and take control.
At some point, there will have to be some sort of ruling body, and if it is not a centralized one—democratically elected or not—it will end up being made up of whoever has the best combination of power and authority to take control That may be one person/group or it could be a number, in the case of something like warlords. Communities may also set up their own makeshift governments led by elders or religious or military leaders who make decisions based on whatever authority the people in the community give them.
Power vacuums are situations where there is no central government so everybody who wants power will rush in and try to seize power. There are a number of situations where this happens.
Regime change is one of the main examples of where power vacuums can and will form. Especially in the case of civil war with a number of factions fighting against the government, if the government is overthrown, there will be a rush for power between many or all of these factions. If a major part of the civil war or civil unrest was to form a democratic government, this may happen semi-peacefully, but as seen in Egypt post-Arab Spring, that cannot be counted on. Especially when religion or deep-rooted cultural differences play a role in the situation, democratic election results can still lead to violence.
Unstructured settlement of new land can also lead to anarchic systems and power vacuums. If land is settled by people who were not specifically sent out with a government in place, there will probably be a rush for power to take control of the region.
Areas that break off from their mother country can experience power vacuums. An area may split off and either officially or unofficially become autonomous, but that does not automatically mean that they already have a government—especially a fully functional and effective one. As with a civil war, the factions that worked together to facilitate the split might and likely will end up turning against each other when it comes to controlling the new region.
Having a dark, violent region is possible and entirely plausible to write about, but while doing that, one must consider how it got that way and to what extent the anarchy and lawlessness extends. There will virtually never be no rules, so you need to figure out what the laws would be and who would want them to be that way.
If I decide to overthrow the humans,
you will be the first to know.
Like a Warrior
Vogue Italia March 2014
Photographer: Tim Walker
Model: Mariacarla Boscono
passive aggressive anders sitting out of combat with his arms crossed and yelling at pro-templar hawke about how “mages are dangerous” and “what if i lose control and accidentally cook varric”