How can I write this scene?

by D. C.

Question: So I'm writing along, and then suddenly I get to a point in the story that I haven't thought through completely. And I'm stuck.

I want to do a scene that will make one of the heroes look like a villain to a few characters, but mostly to the reader.

But how can I do a scene where the main character gets stabbed by the hero in front of the other characters. And everyone is angry and shocked for a while, only to find out that the person that was stabbed wasn't the main character, but someone disguised.

The reason I wonder is because I'm writing in third person, but mainly from the main character's point of view. So how do I write this if the main character isn't even present? I'd just like to know what my options are here.

Answer: It sounds as though what you need to do is switch to a different character's point of view for this scene. Obviously, if you stick with the main character's point of view, and have him watch his own supposed death, you give away the trick.

You say you are writing "mainly" from the main character's viewpoint. Does that mean you occasionally switch to another character's point of view? If so, perhaps you can present this scene from the point of view of this other character.

If that character is unsuitable, you can introduce a third character's point of view here. If you write the scene well, the reader will assume you have switched POV characters simply because the main character dies at this point, before the story ends.

Later, you can switch back to the main character's point of view when you are ready to reveal the truth of what happened to the reader.

It's a tricky thing to write, and may only be worthwhile if this is an important plot twist. But it could be quite effective if done well.

Comments for How can I write this scene?

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Feb 27, 2012
Thank you
by: D. C.

Thanks! That scene bugged me to no end until I finally decided to ask you.

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