Jan. 24th, 2017

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(Grumble, grumble, losing track of how many different places to link blogs to...)

Storytelling is an art of concealing as well as revealing. One of the reasons I enjoy using a very tight point of view is how it enables me to control what I show to the reader by means of what my viewpoint character does and doesn't know. Bits of reader feedback have suggested that some people disagree with my choice to conceal the events that immediately preceded the scene below, revealing them only by means of Barbara's fever-muddled memories. I can understand where they're coming from; we've been trained up to expect a very visual, active mode of storytelling and if there are exciting deeds, we want to see them vividly in front of us.

And for those who had that reaction: it's perfectly valid and I can only hope I'll give you scenes of more satisfying action in the future. (See last week's discussion on that point!) But I did have a specific reason for presenting the events as I did. Trauma often isn't experienced in real time. And major trauma often erases the real-time memory of the events and leaves us desperately trying to reconstruct them. All of my continuing characters either have been or will be completely knocked off their metaphorical feet at some point. The events of this chapter are the start of a major change in how Barbara understands her life, her purpose, and her sense of self. One of the biggest things she will experience is a feeling a complete loss of competency and (eventually) a greater acceptance of not being able to control her surroundings. Have you noticed that  Barbara has MAJOR control issues?

Having her reconstruct the "missing scene" from a place of confusion, (temporary) amnesia, and physical helplessness is a key symbol of the challenges she's about to tackle in books to come.

(Click over to the Alpennia blog for the teaser)


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