Recently I've been working on a short story. I won't go into details because I plan on submitting it to Writers
of the Future. And details mean disqualifications if the judges read them. While it would be incredible if any of the judges were actually reading my blog, it's far better to err on the side of caution. So 'nuff said.
The Heart of Darkness
I had an awesome idea: the emotional conflict between two characters.
Well, 'duh,' you say, 'that's most stories.'
Yes, but remember, I can't go into details. May I continue?
Right, heh, sorry.
Well,I'm still working myself through this little pickle, but it's something I can understand--through experience--both sides of the issue. But the story got 'high-centered' over an emotional reveal. The one character cares deeply (In a familial way) for the other, but he can't show it, mostly from machismo but also because of national security. This man does things behind the scenes to help and protect the other. The second sees the first as distant and aloof.
The problem I'm having is: 1)I keep falling from third into first person. This distracts the narrative and lets the second character hijack the story. And 2) the shift in point of view makes me really dislike the first guy, even though he's a great guy.
My solution, so far, has been to write the scene several times, pushing myself through the scene. I can see the first character's emotion softening, which it really needs anyway. But more importantly, it may keep me sane to prepare the big reveal. The various drafts will eventually boil down to one, based on the comments of my writing group.
And the emotional reveal impacts the rest of the story.
The point is that I needed to think about it for a bit, chewing on both characters. Both characters are good guys, but the second can't see beyond his own trouble. The first sees everything and is fighting to protect the second. Seeing the strong emotions of the first, led me to writing a section from his perspective. It opened my view in to the deeper conflict.
Will this section survive the final draft?
I don't know. But it's moved me deeper into the characters and their story. And that's what writers do.
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