I am well into my first story, Colleen’s story, and I am having all the doubts in the world. I have to tell this first story from an indirect, firsthand source, a tape recorder, and trying to work out an effective format feels like it is impeding telling the story. Though the frame is being told in third person, each of the stories will be told from a first person perspective, which I believe will really bring the readers into the short stories. This is where I really want to engage them.
Which means I’m using my frame as a stage for the characters to be displayed upon, but each story is where the character will really come to life. I know how I want Colleen’s story to go–meaning, I have an idea and I’m letting the character guide me–but structuring it so it represents both the firsthand accounting and the second-hand passing along of the story without confusing the reader is what’s hanging me up. Right now, I have quotation marks around whatever Colleen says in her own story so Dr. James can interject–as a psychologist would while hearing an eye-witness account, with quotation marks of his own–and even Lilith might interject later on. She is listening as the story is being told. I’m worried about the quotation marks, and I’m worried about transitioning from third to first person.
But the story is flowing!
Colleen is an interesting character–owning her sex addiction as being “girl crazy” and thinking everyone is flirting with her–and telling her story in first person reminds me how limiting that perspective can be sometimes, but that’s where I need to call on the magic of crafting an articulate, unique character who sees things and describes things from her own collected life knowledge.
I’d like to say I’m about halfway through this story, but I’ll have my second look tomorrow when I pick up where I left off, plus I think there might be more to flesh out, even from the “isolated” (because Colleen definitely isn’t alone in this) perspective. I think I could go more into Colleen’s back story without overwhelming the plot, and I think I’d like to explore Fort Madison a little more from Colleen’s and, her boss, Ray’s perspectives. For right now, I’m just getting her story out.
The 1,701 words I’ve put down today keeps my daily average above 2000 and sends my word total over 10,000! It feels strange to say that five days in I’m 1/5 of the way home, and I’m only just beginning!
How are my other November Novelists holding up?
Total Word Count, so far: 10,360/50,000