Point of View

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  • Point of View

    TDWoj directed me to the "Point of View" article on wordplayer.com after reading some sample pages of my script.

    I'm assuming he was advising me to limit my POV options. When looking back on my script I see I have wandered from my protagonist a few times and let the audience/reader live in the shoes of a 'nobody' character. This usually happens in scenes where a character is about to face the antagonistic force.

    So I'm thinking should I only be showing these scenes from the view of the antagonist/ant force, so througout the story there are only 2 POV's the PRO and ANT, GOOD v EVIL?

    Is multiple POV considered a cop out, the easy way to show story or is it simply a choice?

    Looking at my story I think it would be more effective to limit the POV and would probably serve to dramatize the suspenseful scenes using the POV of the antagonistic force.

    Thoughts?
    I wanna tell you about the time I almost died....


  • #2
    Re: Point of View

    When you switch POV's you really cut down the time you have to make a meaningful emotional connection, and thus impact, on the audience.

    You can switch out to other things, scenes that the protag could never be in, but you should do it to raise tension. Not to offer an alternative view. Consider the orginal Blade movie. There are several scenes that are focused around Frost, but this is done to raise tension and increase the stakes for Blade.

    If you have a Good v. Bad story, switch away from the Protagonist only to raise the tension in the audience. But don't switch too often or with too many different characters. Each time you do, the audience will become interested in the new character and you'll take away from your protag.

    Remember, it's the protagonists story, not that antagonists. If it were about the other guy, it'd be his story.

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    • #3
      Re: Point of View

      Remember, it's the protagonists story, not that antagonists.

      This says it all.

      You jump to someone else's POV only when it changes the status (complicates, raises stakes and expectations) for the PROTAGONIST'S story. In this way event hough you are not using the protagonist's POV, you are still telling the protagonist's story by focusing on those events which have an impact on the protagonist's story.

      Fortune favors the bold - Virgil

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      • #4
        Re: Point of View

        What if there are two protags, as in a romance or romcom? Do you tell it from both points of view or only one? Does which one you introduce first determine which POV will dominate? (I think I know the answer, but just checking.)
        It's kind of fun to do the impossible - Walt Disney

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        • #5
          Re: Point of View

          At the risk of being pillioried, I think there is always a main protag, rom-com or not. You just have to make sure that the secondary main character is almost as important. But not quite.
          http://wasitsomethingiwrote.blogspot.com/

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          • #6
            Re: Point of View

            SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE: Sam's POV. Annie's POV. Occasionally, Jonah's POV.

            SPLASH: Allen's POV. Madison's POV. Occasionally, Walter's POV.

            STAR WARS: Darth's POV. R2D2 and C3PO's POV. Luke's POV. Maybe more.

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            • #7
              Re: Point of View

              Originally posted by altoption
              STAR WARS: Darth's POV. R2D2 and C3PO's POV. Luke's POV. Maybe more.
              But the main POV was always Luke's POV. He was the antag.
              http://wasitsomethingiwrote.blogspot.com/

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              • #8
                Re: Point of View

                Originally posted by altoption
                SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE: Sam's POV. Annie's POV. Occasionally, Jonah's POV.

                SPLASH: Allen's POV. Madison's POV. Occasionally, Walter's POV.

                STAR WARS: Darth's POV. R2D2 and C3PO's POV. Luke's POV. Maybe more.
                If you read the Wordplayer article on POV, though, it explains how scenes that don't have the protagonist in them actually tie into the protagonist's POV, and the story that's being told. That's what I find extremely helpful as I muddle/struggle through writing my first draft. Until I figured out whose POV I wanted to tell my story from, I couldn't even get started. Now that I know, what to write and how to write it is making more sense.

                This was the problem that I was having with TATAM's script- whose story was it? Was it the ex-policeman's story? The old man in the park's story? The evil force's story? The daughter's story?

                Oh, I'd quibble about your assertion that Star Wars had multiple POVs. It didn't. It had scenes without the protagonist but all those scenes tied into the POV.

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                • #9
                  Re: Point of View

                  Dave, you mean Luke's the protag, right? It's primarily his story. But the story jumps around where necessary.

                  LOST IN TRANSLATION: Bob's POV. Charlotte's POV.

                  YOU CAN COUNT ON ME: Sammy's POV. Terry's POV. But, opening scene is parents' POV.

                  I agree most films have a primary POV, the protagonist's.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Point of View

                    I don't believe rom-coms have two protagonists. In most cases the love interest is the antagonist.

                    Not that dual protagonists are not possible for a rom-com, or any other genre, but rom-coms do not have an inherent and essential need to structure it as a dual protagonist story.
                    Fortune favors the bold - Virgil

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                    • #11
                      Re: Point of View

                      I agree you need to know whose story you're telling. But if a character is not in a scene, it's not his POV. Aren't there scenes in STAR WARS without R2 and C3PO? They don't go into the bar with Luke and Obiwan, do they? Many scenes are told through Luke's POV. It's a scene-by-scene analysis. There are either multiple points-of-view or not. You can't then ignore the scenes that don't fit and then say it's one particular character's POV.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Point of View

                        Multiple POVs do not necessarily indicate multiple protagonists. Even in a rom-com there's usually a main character. Although we can, and do, argue these things to death.

                        Take THELMA AND LOUISE, for example...

                        Nah, let's not.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Point of View

                          Originally posted by altoption
                          Dave, you mean Luke's the protag, right? .
                          I did. And I liked the contrary examples you gave.

                          Although Thelma and Louise was a buddy movie so the protag thing dosen't.....no you're right, let's not.
                          Last edited by English Dave; 10-04-2005, 09:55 AM.
                          http://wasitsomethingiwrote.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Point of View

                            Originally posted by altoption
                            I agree you need to know whose story you're telling. But if a character is not in a scene, it's not his POV. Aren't there scenes in STAR WARS without R2 and C3PO? They don't go into the bar with Luke and Obiwan, do they? Many scenes are told through Luke's POV. It's a scene-by-scene analysis. There are either multiple points-of-view or not. You can't then ignore the scenes that don't fit and then say it's one particular character's POV.
                            I wasn't ignoring the scenes that don't fit.

                            Read the article on Wordplayer. It explains POV much better than I could. (I hate understanding something viscerally and not being able to explain it back. Grr. My bad.)

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                            • #15
                              Re: Point of View

                              Rom/com's have only one real protagonist. They're all "how I met your mother/father" stories. If we follow the love interest around, it's to raise the stakes for the protagonist.

                              This is even true of Sleepless in Seatle. It's Hanks', I forget the characters name, story. Although we spend time with the love interest, it's not her story.

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