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Writing Books/my story plot


I am in the process of putting together a story based on a woman who is delusional, obsessive, and paranoid. I want it to be in two parts. the first part is from her point of view & written in first person. the second part is in third point of view, and tells the story about what really happens in the story. My question is, is it considered bad writing to write a book this way, have part in first person, and the second in third person? I've read books that had each chapter flip back and forth using this same technique.

Hi, Cocoa!

I've seen a few authors pull off this technique to good effect. One that you might try out is J.A. Konrath. His "Jack Daniels" mysteries has one chapter be the point of view of the heroine, in first person, and alternating chapters feature the villain's point of view in third person. It's interesting and works.

In your case, you'll have to make the alternating protagonist (because really, that's what's going to happen) have their own, corresponding, plot. That second person will have to have a reason to tell the story the right way. Whether it's a crime being committed, a mental melt-down occurring or lives being ruined---if the second person is involved and must REMAIN involved throughout the book, there has to be a reason that will make sense to the reader. Think of the movie, The Three Faces of Eve. Yes, it's Eve's movie (and book) but the psychiatrist who treats here isn't just a secondary character. It can't be for the relationship to function. If that makes sense. There has to be a relationship (not necessarily physical) that drives the two people, as a pair, toward the conclusion of the plot.

Hope that helps a little. Good luck with it!


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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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