1. Rumwriter
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    Rumwriter Active Member

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    Values of imagery and tension

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Rumwriter, Sep 21, 2012.

    I am about to start a new short story, and my question is thus:

    I am considering whose point of view to write the story from, weighing the different options each choice will give me. If I do it from the viewpoint of one character, I will probably get better imagery. The character is a poetic drug-abuser and drunkard. I can really go to town on a lot of internal thoughts with him.

    The thing is, that several people are dependant on this character, but he is hardly reliable. If I do it from the POV of a different character, only mentioning the other character, I feel like I can create more tension. Will this other character come through?

    I'm not saying I can't create tension or imagery either way, but the ways I am thinking of writing it, I can do one more strongly than the other in either scenario.

    Not necessarily thinking about my story in particular, but which do you think is more crucial? I'm thinking the tension. Tension with imagery is better than imagery without tension. That's more poetry I think. Thoughts?
     
  2. Jamie Regent-Villiers
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    Jamie Regent-Villiers Member

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    In a short story, tension is key. You have two choices ... the POV of the druggie which if he is a real abuser/drunk then he will spend quite a bit of time "non compos mentis" which will mean he will not be able to have a POV. Or use a buddy who sticks with him and relates all his moves.
     
  3. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    I am considering whose point of view to write the story from, weighing the different options each choice will give me. If I do it from the viewpoint of one character, I will probably get better imagery. The character is a poetic drug-abuser and drunkard. I can really go to town on a lot of internal thoughts with him.
    When I read this I instantly thought of Frank Gallagher from a program called 'Shameless' but there's no or little tension in this program - believe it or not, it's kind of a comedy - outrageous but comic, and his dependants (his kids) completely ignore him while be mulls about drunk in the back ground. You might find some clips on Utube which might help for research. When it comes to view point, it depends whose story you want to tell, the drunkard or his dependants? I actually think you've made up your mind all ready, I say that because of the way you have described the drunkard. With great detail while you have said nothing about the others.

    Not necessarily thinking about my story in particular, but which do you think is more crucial? I'm thinking the tension. Tension with imagery is better than imagery without tension. That's more poetry I think. Thoughts?
    My opinion is, without the imagery there's no reason for anyone to be tense. If for instance your character steals all the household money (the imagery of him doing his - rifling through drawers, cupboards and things looking for any hidden stashes of money, desperate for his fix) Then the family discovers their hidden money is gone, this causes the tension- are they going to starve or be unable to pay the bills.

    I hope that helps.
     
  4. Program
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    Program Member

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    Could you explain how imagery could be limited by a character's POV? For example, simply the character noticing a tree in a specific state, or the mention of one or several certain colors might lead to some imagery that connects throughout the whole story effectively. Assuming both characters can see, you have that tree as a possibility. Maybe the drunkard sees it one way and the other guy sees it a different way - those are two paths, but it's not like one path is "better" than the other. They'd both yield unique results that have potential. I think you can achieve effective imagery with either character, as long as your wordings are well chosen.

    I'm also sure you can create tension from either point of view as well. The drunkard can see and hear and such, though it may be blurred when he's drunk, but blurring it can make it more boring or interesting depending on your choices. Another character might display his feelings about this guy creating tension. I'm pretty sure you can get from both POVs.

    In the end, I think it'll mostly come down to how carefully you've written the piece and not really which POV you chose.
     

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