Can/should a character who only appears in one chapter have their pov portrayed?

I am editing and revising.
Now then, I have a character who dies in the second chapter.
I'm sorry to see her go, I liked her--but without her dying the train won't run and I do want it to break all speed records.
Now then, here's the question: Is it okay, or better not to--present that one "scene" from her pov? The dying isn't really shown either--not then.
What do you guys think?

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Hi Carole,

Yes, I'd say definitely. I've done it quite often and most recently with a real cameo character who only appears in one scene, she's actually irrelevant to the plot as a whole but her pov allowed observations to be made about several other characters. I've had this same debate myself and have drawn two conclusions...
1. It's your book so follow your instincts, if it feels right do it.
2. When the book is complete review it in context of the whole work - it can always be amended then.
Hope that's of some use.
Good luck, Alison
Some help? it's terrific help!
Thanks so much, Alison!
It just came up today really--
You have to go by instincts, but it can be "shot" two ways, right?
I'll be Spielberg! and I'll shoot it both ways, and then decide.
Thanks! that's why I go ask these questions because people like you (if I'm lucky answer them)!
Just want to add something.
Yes, I see your point about your character and the importance of some observations--I like that.
again, thanks.
I'm with Allison on this. There are several scenes in mycurrent WIP where characters appear for only a chapter or two, but I describe the scene throuhg their eyes because they are uniquely suited to provide the perspective or description needed, so the reader knows more than the more promonent character. I wouldn't get acrried away with it, but for the scenes I have in mind I couod find no way around it.
very good!
Yes, I agree. you're so right. and you're doing it with your current w.i.p.
as ever thanks, Dana!
always excellent advice that I can use!
Impossible to answer without seeing the whole novel and knowing how important the single scene and the POV are to it.
okay--I'll have to mull that one over.
thank you.
I'm new to this site but I'll throw in my two pennies worth...the opening scene of my current WIP is written from the POV of a witness to the crime. I wanted the murder to be on-scene in all its graphic glory and didn't know how else to do this. Also, because it is the first chapter of the novel I wanted the character to be interesting and the scene to be attention-grabbing. Now, here's the rub--everyone in my writer's group likes this peripheral character very much and are disappointed she does not reappear in the work. Readers are geared up to think this woman will be central to the plot and remain confused when the POV shifts to other characters in the novel. This is likely due to some error in my story-telling technique (or perhaps the other characters are too darn boring!) whatever it is, I think it may be wise to go forward with caution.
Hope this helps,
thank you Greta for that.
you gave me a lot to think about.
see, I'm up to the editing stage before the final draft and it's basically one chapter(the second) when this woman is murdered--so it's pretty much the same type of situation.
but I think I'll rewrite that to have her pov and see how it works. Alison suggested that earlier today. trying it both ways.
and then I'll look at how it was originally.
of course we have to go by our instincts. just remember, if you don't mind a couple of my cent's worth--that it's your work--and feedback is good we learn from it.
but we have to make that final decision and run with it--
hope you don't mind my saying that.
I kind of like the idea of a person's pov coming before they are murdered. it's so terribly poignant.
like an early epitaph--a mark on the story--at its very start.
again thanks greta!
The first victim gets a chapter two POV? I like that. Especially if the chapter ends just before or at the murder. Are you writing in present or past tense? If there are other victims, do they get a POV also?
Past tense mainly, third person.
There is another victim who doesn't. He's not there long enough. the other victim, yes pov because he's a main character.
I've examined the storyline--and just at the points where I think the reader (and I) would like to know what a character is thinking, that following chapter is from their pov.
Hi Greta,

Most readers will want to have engaged with a character by the end of the book. If they invest in a character early they can feel cheated when this character dies and they are asked to invest in someone else. If this person's cameo appears after the introduction of another key character - either the protagonist or main investigator for example then this can help. Or perhaps foreshadow the character's demise so that the reader warms to them but does not have the expectation of spending the whole book in their company. I doubt there is anything wrong with your other characters, if you have written this first character so that she appeals to your readers I'm sure the other are similarly well drawn. Hope this helps, Alison


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