Thursday, May 19, 2016

What's Best For The Story

Yesterday, I was faced with a decision about the project I was working on. Do I make a change that would fundamentally change the entire story in an amazingly interesting way or do I keep moving forward on the story as is? If you read yesterday's post, you know that I'd climbed up on to the high dive and was ready to plunge in. I was excited and tingly about what I was about to do.

Then about 6 o'clock last night, I started having second thoughts. Blame it on the gas fumes from the lawn mower or being alone with my thoughts when I was mowing the lawn listening to my writing mix as I mowed. I decided not to open the file last night as my brain rolled from one side to the next as I contemplated the story. I oscillated from one side to the next. I slept on it. And now, as of 10am, I'm firmly on the opposite side as I was almost 24 hours ago.

I keep asking myself one question: is this good for what I'm trying to do with the story?

My decision: No.

I'm kind of disappointed, but this isn't for a lack of courage. This is from an honest appraisal of the story and what the change I was planning. The big secret was changing the narrator from the protagonist to another character in the story. The story would begin in third person close and when the big "reveal" to the identity of the narrator happened (where I was in the story yesterday) I would switch it to first person present as the character would then take over the story. It would be a daring move, but I feel like some of the emotional punch of things happening later in the story would be lost by changing the narrator.

This idea however will not go away. I have a few projects in the "To Be Written" list that this would work perfect for. Maybe not the reveal, but where the narrator isn't really the main character. I'm thinking that this style of story might be perfect for my prank war novel. A journal about the pranks is key to that story, so it makes a degree of sense. It also has brought back my desire to write an epistolary novel.

In the end I decided that this switch wasn't good for the story and that's what is really most important to what I'm trying to do.

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