1. wildflower
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    wildflower Member

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    story format

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by wildflower, Apr 30, 2008.

    I've recently been pondering over how to write my next story. I love the idea, I'm pretty sure I can make it authentic (period piece) and I have most of the story mapped out beginning to end.

    The problem I'm having is whether I should write it third person; journal enteries, epistolary; first person, one POV, multiple POV...you get it

    so, as writers (or even readers) what would you say was the most engaging way to write?

    My opinion: I would love to try the journal enteries format but think it may be passive, or disengaging for the reader; I mean when I write journal enteries (as part of my training) I don't go into detail about the people I meet.

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wildflower,

    Personally, I've never been much on reading journal entry novels, but there are those out there who love that format.

    Really, in selecting the POV, depends on the story you have to tell. Each has its advantages and limitations.

    First Person and Third Person limited, focusing on the main character's actions and even thoughts can build a strong tie. But if, for example, information needed to tell the story must come from an outside source that could not 'report' it to the main character...then a form of omnicient may be needed.

    I know, not a lot of help really and probably information you've already thought about/considered before posting the question. A bit about the story might help me, or other members, give more advice or suggestions based on our experience.

    Terry
     
  3. wildflower
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    wildflower Member

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    The synopsis is pretty basic:

    MC is female who intended to marry the love of her life but chose to marry someone else. Years later she turns up in her old love's life again - he is now married (MC is not, now). The story centres around the hardships the girl faced before she found her love again and he helps her establish herself.

    This may sound really dull and basic but I think I have some strong ideas that would work well as the story goes on. There are twists and turns throughout.

    Problem I have is that I don't know whether to follow the MC all the way, so the reader knows exactly what happened to her. Then, the reader will be left to wonder about the true nature of the 'hero's' character.

    Or, I could follow the MC upto a certain time then switch to her old love's POV years later. At this point the MC re-appears in his life and the story can centre around him trying to figure out what happened in the years between.

    Hope this makes sense LOL

    This is the part I hate.
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    WildFlower,

    I don't write romance type works (and for that I am confident the world is thankful). I do know one author who has written and published some romance, and she says she prefers omnicient. She may follow mainly one character, but the opportunity to pop into another character's head/thoughts, she uses to build suspense/tention and other things. WHile head hopping is generally said to be a "no no" with omnicient POV, it isn't, although has to be done correctly and with care.

    Setting omnicient aside, between first person and third limited, it really depends on how much outside observation of details/facts need to be provided to the reader that wouldn't be logical using first person POV--from the main character's senses/perception only.

    Hope that helps some.

    Terry
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    take a look at what's on the bookshelves of your nearest major bookshop... see what method sells best for the genre you want to write... and take into consideration what you can write best... it won't do any good to write it as a journal, if you don't write that way as well as you can in straight third person, past tense...
     
  6. Rumpole40k
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    Rumpole40k Banned

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    I think Mammamia went to the heart of the matter. Ask yourself honestly what style suits you best and work from there. BTW if you are looking for an excellent example of journal writing that is engaging, try the Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis. The story is told through letters but the principle holds.
     
  7. wildflower
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    wildflower Member

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    Thanks for the advice everyone

    Was doing more planning at work (I'm really conscientious, as you see) and think I want to tell the story from the two POVs; it may make the ending predictable but hopefully the journey towards it can hold attention
     
  8. MumblingSage
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    Depends how predictable the ending is. I'm perfectly happy to read a story where I know 'they get together in the end and smiles are had all around', but if I finish a story to discover that I already predicted the identity of his long-lost sister and figured out where the lost cat was hiding all along I'll be a bit peeved. Keep them guessing on the details.
     

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