Narration : main character v omniscient

by Rod
(Edinburgh, scotland)

Question: Loved your articles on this subject..


My novel sets out to tell the story from the main character's POV. However there are certain situations which involve interactions between other lesser characters, without the knowledge of the POV.

My question is can the novel accommodate two separate narrators - one writing in the first person and the other in the third person?

Answer: Thanks for the kind feedback.

Just about anything can be done if it is done well.

To take an example, Margaret Atwood's novel, The Edible Woman is written partly in first person and partly in third, though still from the main character's perspective. This is done to show her voice disappearing as she loses her identity due to a bad relationship.

Having more than one narrator/POV character is quite common. if you are using just two narrators, I suspect the shift in narrative style would help make the change from one to the other clearer for the reader.

I would suggest that you change narrators only at chapter breaks. The shift from first to third person and vice versa is a bit jarring and I suspect you would have trouble making it work within a chapter.

Best of luck.

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