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The cast grows...

I only managed about 500 words yesterday, but they were 500 words of firsts.

This beginning of a scene is from a new POV character I've never written before and the scene involves my first attempt at a naval encounter (triremes). It was mainly a feeling out of both.

Already I know where I want to go with the scene and that I have to change the last 50 words or so before continuing because the logistics just don't work. But I'm excited. Adding in a new aspect of world building by including the naval conflicts, and choosing to show most of it through a brand new POV character (she's been around in the background of the story since its inception many many years ago, but never played a real role) adds to both the challenge and the enthusiasm.

Now, this also brings up another issue. How many POV characters will this story have? I'm a firm believer in the antagonists getting their fair share of stage time in a story. So that manages to automatically expand my POV cast.

At the moment, I have 6 confirmed POV characters on the Protagonist side and 2 confirmed POV characters on the Antagonist side, with a 3rd as a real strong possibility.

Just how many minimum words are there for a POV character to actually be worth being a POV character in a book?

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sartorias
Aug. 5th, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
I think I might be annoyed if there was some repetitive trick, but an invisible way in wouldn't bother me a bit.

John reached for the stick shift and hit the brake as the ptereodactyl hit the windshield. He . . .

Terry gasped with laughter as her mother did the ritual chicken dance . . .

Ellen screamed at her kids, but the wind snatched away the words so she couldn't even hear herself . . .

I would never notice that each begins with the name of a character because there is immediate action--so the signal whose eyes I'm seeing through is as fast a signal as film.
cedunkley
Aug. 5th, 2009 10:28 pm (UTC)
I can see what you mean about the action of the sentence allowing the POV character to be established without it feeling repetitious. I went through my back story WIP and unfortunately in the 52 chapters it has, 48 of them start with the character's name as the first word.

Even if I make sure to have smooth action emphasized sentences like your examples, which some of them already are, I think I really need to mix up some of these opening chapter sentences. As long as I can either establish POV by setting or by mentioning the character within the first couple of sentences it should work.

sartorias
Aug. 5th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
If each sentence feels different, I just do not see a problem with the first word being the POV name. No one will notice, really. Not unless you hammer it with headers or a repeated formula.
cedunkley
Aug. 5th, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC)
You know what, I think it's just me. I pulled up an old first draft manuscript of an epic fantasy story I was co-writing with an old friend. (He wrote book 1, I wrote book 2 and we were going to split book 3.)

And that manuscript has about 85% of its chapters starting with a character's name. And I never noticed it. And no one who has read it has ever mentioned it either.

You're right. Unless I do something to make the reader notice, they generally won't. Well, at least I can let that go.

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