1. james82
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    james82 Member

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    IS THERE POTENTIAL?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by james82, Nov 6, 2015.

    So my fellow writers, I'm in a very tight spot right now with one of my current stories
    that I do see so much potential in, although I have lost some passion for it over the
    last few months, if that makes any sense.

    I don't want to share too much but my story is about a former high-school bully
    turned anti-bullying activist named Shea Deckeran who after moving to a new town
    when he was sixteen, falls in with a group of bullies and ultimately becomes a participant
    in a very cruel incident against one of his peers that changes both him and his victim's
    life forever.

    Now many years later, as a thirty-something year old, Shea shares his story with a
    group of modern day middle-schoolers about his past as a bully and everything that
    transpired. The novel acts as his fourth lecture.

    But to get down to business, the big problem I'm having with this is structure.
    Shea's backstory is obviously the bulk of the novel, although I want it to start in
    present day and to end in present day. So that's what I'm trying to juggle.

    Chapter One begins in first-person present, in a classroom, as Shea tells us about
    the students he's about to share his story with, but then he begins to tell his story in
    first-person past. Is there any way I can make this work because I want the present
    day characters, the students he's sharing his story with to be involved and have a voice,
    to have dialogue. If you want I will share an excerpt if that doesn't hurt my chances of
    getting this material published someday although that's just a fantasy as of right now.
    What do you guys think??
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
  2. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Is this a novel or a short story? I'm trying to think if Interview with a Vampire - which is all a story being told - was ever interrupted by the interviewer. I can't remember ... I read the book when I was twenty something.

    It could work but it could also get very complicated - making sure the dialogue isn't too boring tell-y, making sure to show, knowing when to have another character interrupt, creating enough of a structure to prepare your reader for it. I've seen this done in movies - Fried Green Tomatoes, Waterland which were adapted from books but usually the time frame took place over weeks to show how the stories were affecting those hearing them.
     
  3. james82
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    james82 Member

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    Interview with a Vampire is told in third-person past I believe.

    Example: I see..." said the vampire thoughtfully, and slowly he walked across the room to the window.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  4. Fernando.C
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    Fernando.C Active Member

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    Have you read 'Name of the Wind' by Patrick Rothfuss? This is the first book in a trilogy. The style is essentially what you're talking about. the protagonists is telling his life story to a...you could say biographer. the present day is narrated in 3rd person past and the the protagonist's life story is told by the protagonist in first person past. the people in the present day are very much active in the overall story and you see a lot of their interactions and dialog. Usually when switching from the past to present day, the writer does so by starting a new chapter, although there are some exceptions to this.

    Anyway, I think taking a look at this book might help you get an idea of how to pull this off effectively and without your story getting too confusing for the readers; Patrick Rothfuss certainly succeeds in that.

    Hope this helps!
     
  5. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Read Heart of Darkness
     
  6. Joe Christopher
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    Joe Christopher New Member

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    It seems like you're worrying about the wrong thing at this point. Finish the story first, and then work from there.
     

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