1. Caveriver

    Caveriver Active Member

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    Newspaper article-modern day... how much detail?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Caveriver, Nov 7, 2016.

    I am trying to use ways OTHER than in info-dump monologue from the MC to reveal details of a murder/traumatic event to another character. The MC isn't dealing healing well from the trauma she endured, and this makes her an unreliable narrator for the retelling. I've already got several scenes where other characters reveal certain details to my receiving character, and by default, the audience. BUT, I'm leaning toward a newspaper article to give him a really solid, objective, retelling. Obviously this will lack the emotional component of the MC's perspective on it, but I plan to take care of that later.

    The question is: how much detail would a home-town newspaper really include? Names, I assume. Dates, times... but not so much on the what-weapon-was-used-where-how-injuries sustained, etc.? How much do you feel I could get away with, without feeling over-done?

    Many thanks for opinions!
     
  2. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    I think for an article such as yours it could vary widely from 500-3000 words, it all depends on how much or how little
    you think should be divulged to the 'public' about the man and the situation in question.

    Good Luck. :)
     
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  3. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    Newspaper and objective retelling in the same sentence? A newspaper can be just as unreliable a narrator as any mentally-disturbed character. They all have their biases; one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter; one man's innocent victim of human trafficking is another man's unwanted immigrant.

    As far as the information, you'd typically get a serial in the paper;

    Day 1/ An unidentified man was found, dead, in downtown Deadwood Gulch around 9 pm last night. Eyewitnesses described the loud explosion, like a gunshot, that occurred shortly before the man was found. Police have not yet issued a statement. (Interview with local busy-body who knows nothing.)
    Day 2/ The man discovered three days ago in Deadwood has been identified as Patrick Packer, a valet at a local carwash. Police are appealing for help in reconstructing his movements from the time of his last reported sighting at 6 pm on that night.
    Day 3/ etc.

    You're unlikely to get details of the injuries, weapon, until the case comes to court - the police are likely to keep those details close the their chest to enable them to weed out people who want to confess to the crime, but get the details wrong.
     
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  4. Caveriver

    Caveriver Active Member

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    :bigwink: Ok, well, "objective" as in, an account by someone other than someone involved or a friend of the victim- but I take your meaning.

    I think if i I go this route, or maybe a video of a newscast, it will only be for basic deatils.
     

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