Monday, August 6, 2012

Meta: First Person

Perspective and the relationship between the narrator and the story itself fascinate me. Obviously unreliable narrators are one of my favourite things to play with.

That was one of my major motivators in this piece. I wanted a narrator who couldn't trust their memory enough to portray things as dialog, and I wanted an ephemeral tone to the whole piece. That's why fog and steam and coffee imagery persist: I wanted the fic to feel like the first inhale of a London Fog.

I had no particular gender in mind for the priest, and so am unsure if this is edgily transgressional or not. The priest was not an important character to either narrative, and so was not assigned a name or gender. Actually, no one got names, because it was not important to what I was trying to do.

Names are usually one of the last things I come up with, and very rarely have any meaning attached other than plausibility. Unless they are from a culture wherein they select their own names, names will have been selected based on what the parents thought was significant, and may or may not have anything to do with the character themselves. I read a lot of amateur fiction wherein the heroine is named something like RavenMoon Bloodless or whatever because they have long black hair and pale skin and oh they had somehow not noticed they are from an ancient line of vampires. My hyperbole is only slight. This personal context is why I shy away from naming characters at all in most short fiction.

I should also admit that this story is a bit over a year old, and I was experimenting with how well I could stay constrained to present tense. Now, of course, there is the Homestuck fandom, so switching between first, second, and third person and past and present tense is as natural as breathing.

I also wanted to work on wrapping things up, and denouement, as it was something that had been frustrating me in working on my novel at the time. I find short stories helpful as scale models of some problems, though the scope is often much more limited.

No comments:

Post a Comment