Flashbacks and Memories

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Thread: Flashbacks and Memories

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    Java Girl Barb's Avatar Retired Staff
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    Default Flashbacks and Memories

    This post is actually a cry for help, believe it or not. Some months ago I began working on an Eldershipping story and I was writing in first person (Delia Ketchum Oak's POV, to be exact). But as the story unfolded in my mind and made its way through my fingers to the computer, I found myself writing in the third person as a way of describing how Samuel and Delia got together.

    Needless to say, the "split-narrative" style was giving my headaches and probably confusing my readers to boot. Plus, I didn't like the direction the story was going, so I deleted it from FFN and have shelved it temporarily.

    I know that I want to tell this story. What I need help with is how to write it. Should I keep the first and concluding chapters in first person, set in the present day, and have the remaining chapters (the bulk of the story) set in third person and in the past? I think this would keep readers from getting confused as to who's saying what to whom and what's going on at the time.
    Or, would it be easier to write the entire story in third person and start from the past and work my way to the present day?

    *sighs* The Bluebird of creativity is not staying at my house right now, obviously, so any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.

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    Goronda Type Vice-Webmaster Evil Figment's Avatar Vice-Webmaster
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    Personally, I'd tend to go for the first option (ie, first person in the opening and ending, third elsewhere) rather than everything in third. It adds a certain style to the story.
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    Default *thinks*

    *waves frantically to Barb* Hi Barb! So good to see you! Maybe now I'll actually get to be in contact with you more often!

    I actually liked the present/ flashback thing... though as you know, I'm awfully fond of flashbacks and am completely for using them (even at the expense of my stories, alas!). Still, I can see the parts where it got kind of difficult to maintain the separate voices.

    Of the options you've given, I like the first one the best: 1st person as prologue/ epilogue and rest of story in third. I know when I put it like that, it sounds strange to have just the opening/ closing in first when you could do the whole story in third and be done with it. Yet I like Delia's voice very much in that fic. I understand the way she speaks; I know where she's coming from... I just like being able to hear her. Because her voice is so underused... [ /end random pointless blather]

    --Would doing the whole thing in first be an option as well?

    --What about having alternating chapters? 1 = present, with segue to 2 = past, with segue to 3= present, etc...

    I'd saw that the fic was going away. Want me to kill it on the site too? (Alternatively, if you'd like I can put a link straight to it here so people can make their own suggestions based on what you've got...)

    Well, hopefully this post has been somewhat coherent and helpful. And if you catch the bluebird of creativity, please send him over here when you've finished with him. I have many characters in many worlds who are pissed off at me at the moment for ignoring them...

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    Java Girl Barb's Avatar Retired Staff
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    *hugs Latonya* You're here!!!

    I really liked your idea of writing the entire story in the first person. I've just finished reading a novel where the first and closing chapters were in first person (present day) and the middle chapters were written in third person (past).

    My concern with using flashbacks is that often they slow the narrative of the story. However, in the case of this story, they show how Sam and Delia got into their present situation. I'm always concerned that I'll either give too little or too much detail.

    And I definitely want Delia to do the talking. Aside from Ilex's superior "Lost: Delia POV" fic, I've not seen anything that comes close to really being able to get inside Delia's head and see things from her point of view.

    It might be a good idea to kill it on the site, as I've deleted it from FFN. I'm planning on rewriting most if not all of the chapters.

    Thanks, guys.

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    The Ash Defender Togepretty's Avatar
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    Ack! Barb! There you are! ^^
    *waves*

    And I agree with everyone else.
    I see nothing wrong by putting the beginning and end in 1st person, and the rest in third.

    To be honest, I adore stories that are first person because they are usually really unique, and give a more personal view of the story. I like to feel that the character is talking to me, and 1st person provides me with that.

    So, again, go with the first option. It's just makes the most sense.

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    Java Girl Barb's Avatar Retired Staff
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    Let me ask another question regarding flashbacks. At what point do they slow down the narrative of the story? In most cases, they are necessary to get insight into the character's actions or motives. However, often too much detail is given, and the reader forgets where the plot is headed.

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