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Changing direction of the story line.

I have just posted the final bit of the 1st chapter If I Were a Bird and it is written in the first person, an 8yr old girl. I am now thinking of introducing the older Elsa after each chapter to tell some of the story from her own perspective as the older person. (Am I making any sense here?) My problem is how do I do this? And would it fit in with the flow of the story? I'm overthinking. Help!

Asked by: ELSIE BYRON

  1. ELSIE BYRON on April 21, 2017

    Thank you for your input Jimmy and Steve. At the moment I am still toying around with the prospect of introducing older Elsa's views. I think I might re-write the last part on a blank page and extend it with older Elsa and see how it reads. As you say there's no harm in trying and it might just add something to the story line. This is definitely an itch I need to scratch even if I do delete it at least I looked at the option. Thank you again

  2. Steven Strafford on April 20, 2017

    I'm going to comment surf here and say I agree with Jimmy and would go further. Write these things anyway, you'd be surprised where they lead and the new ideas they bring out even if you never use them.

    I wrote a 'Marley's Ghost' section for the prologue of the story I've been posting. It was based on: http://uk.businessinsider.com/its-not-worth-it-linds-reddings-short-lesson-in-perspective-2012-11 (very frank, read with caution) which partly inspired the story. I doubt it will see the light of day but it scratched an itch, expanded my understanding of the character and helped me root him in his present state of mind.

    Have a go, I hope it helps.

    Steve

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  3. Jimmy Hollis I Dickson on April 20, 2017

    I think that it wouldn't hurt to write these end pieces to each chapter (the older Elsa's voice [technical detail: perhaps after 3 asterisks, and in cursive script?]). This doesn't commit you to leaving them in the finished work: you might decide to jettison them. But they MIGHT give you insights into modifying 8-year-old Elsa's narration. Perhaps an older Elsa knows things about young Elsa of which you won't be aware until you allow her to speak. (Even if, later, you decide not to let the reader hear her.)

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  4. ELSIE BYRON on April 20, 2017

    Thank you Lorraine for your helpful comments. I'm tempted to leave it just as it is. To change it, for me, would take something away from the heart of it. I might try it, but I would definitely be stepping out of my comfort zone. I know Elsa with her ways and quirks and can play around with this because of the familiarity. I think for now I will keep writing her story the same way. Thank you for your advice it is much appreciated.

  5. Lorraine Swoboda on April 20, 2017

    At the moment you have a story that's raw and true; it takes us into the era perfectly, and Elsa's thoughts and views on the world have a wisdom which children can display, especially when they have learnt so many hard lessons in life already.

    I can see that an older Elsa, looking back, could add something; for a start, we'd know that the child survived (obvious, but worth noting) and grew into this other person with her own ideas and (no doubt) an air of hard-won confidence.

    Whether what the adult knows would undermine the sense of childish wisdom, I don't know. It may be that the older Elsa reveals that the child is wrong at times, which could break your reader's heart a little, because she matters to us so much. That's no bad thing, though.

    If you are inspired to add something at the end of a chapter, then try it. You won't know otherwise. It may be stepping out of your comfort zone, for example, or it may just not fit with the tone of the piece. I think it could work very well so long as you don't give away the answer to the question, did she fly away? That needs to be kept to the end!

    Hope this helps.
    Lorraine

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