October 26, 2020, 03:55:10 AM

Author Topic: What's the problem with omniscient point of view?  (Read 8338 times)

Offline Yora

Re: What's the problem with omniscient point of view?
« Reply #45 on: May 26, 2015, 01:16:18 PM »
I wouldn't say the characters need to be sympathetic. They need to be interesting so you care about learning more about them. Karl Wagners Kane is a very unlikeable character but also very fascinating. You get attached to him because you want to know what he is planning and what he will do to the other characters in the story that are actually somewhat likeable. Or in case the characters are even more unsympathetic than Kane, you want to know if and how Kane will finish them.
Usually I am very much against writers deliberately withholding information the main character clearly has, but with Kane it works because it's omniscient and not limited. In limited you expect to be told objectively what the focus character is thinking, but with Kane the big driving question for many stories is simply what is motivating him and what he is trying to accomplish with the strange things he does. The secondary characters are all written in much more conventional ways, but the main character himself is a mystery, even though half the scenes focus on him. It's a very interesting use of omniscience, but it seems like a miracle that Wagner managed to actually make it work. I couldn't even begin to imagine how to write a story like that without a total trainwreck.
We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on a big tower of other dwarves.

Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor