Welcome to March!
I thought I'd try a connected theme of Thursday articles this month. I've had some half-baked ideas floating around on the subject of “Point of View”. They haven't coalesced completely but I think I can figure out four articles on this topic over the next few weeks. So here we go!
Points of View - part one
In literature, we know there are several points of view that can be used by the author. First person (everything is ‘I did this, I did that’), Third person limited (he does this, she does this, we can see the thoughts of only one character, usually the main character), third person omniscient (we can see the thoughts and pov of everyone the author wants us to), of course, second person ('you do this, you do that'… I don't know how often this is used, but it seems likely to get annoying).
In comics, the standard is to see the thoughts of any character the author wishes, with the use of thought bubbles or captions. POV can be switched willy nilly. So, Third Person Omniscient.
Of course, it's easy enough to make the decision to only show the thoughts of one character. Maybe there's one central character who's in almost every scene. Limiting ourselves to only seeing that person's thoughts definitely puts the story in their perspective and allows some suspense/tension and relatability, so that we only know what they know.
Other than narrating using the pronoun “I”, I'm not sure how first-person narration would be any different. Stories starring Wolverine (as well as some noir characters before him) used to use this device, and it's pretty powerful, for isolating the main character and giving the whole thing a certain gravitas or seriousness. It can work!
Doing a second-person narration would be possible too - I imagine not seeing the character (“you”) and only seeing what's going on in front of their eyes. I'm sure that's been done in comics - I've seen it done in film (of the shorter variety at least).
Does you comic follow one character? Do you limit your “mind reading” to just that one? Or do you allow everybody's thoughts to be seen when needed? What do you think of the “first person narration” device in comics? Have you ever seen “second person narration” done? Do you like that notion, or do you think it'd drive you crazy?
Happy Thursday, and Happy March!
Banes at 12:00AM, March 1, 2018
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