Whose Story Is It?

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As I write my way into this fiction attempt, I’ve had some time to reflect on my approach – present tense, multiple viewpoints. I think that I was bouncing around, wondering whose story this actually is. One of the characters emerged, and I think this is his story. He’s one of the more interesting characters, to me anyway, with lots of internal and external conflicts currently and coming his way. He has interesting relationships with the other main characters, with some nuance and potential conflict there too. He’s also one of the few characters I’m sure will survive the story (not all the main characters will).

Looking ahead, I don’t think he will be present for every event I have sketched out, and some of the events he won’t be present for are a big deal to the story, so I may need a second POV. I’m not sure who that should be.

Writing in first person continues to open up challenges and opportunities. It’s odd to be writing fantasy, which always has the artifice of being “once upon a time” to some degree in first person. It is happening both in a legendary then and yet the reader’s now. There’s no room for things like an imaginary manuscript history for the story, or the idea that a storyteller is setting things down on paper that happened long ago in their own life. It is cinematic, and I’m actually not even sure that this technique plays to what strengths I have as a writer (which in fiction are very few and underdeveloped).

Still, it’s worth continuing. This is practice. I am still enjoying writing my way into this story, and I’m approaching 40,000 words without feeling fatigued with it. As long as I continue to learn, it’s worth it.

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