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18 January 2014 @ 08:31 pm
Challenging Oneself in Fic Writing  
When author David Mitchell was writing The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, he had to ask for the publishing date to be pushed back an entire year because after writing half of the book, he decided he wanted to change the POV style. I'm hardly writing anything as remotely challenging or good as that book, but after months of not ficcing, I was halfway done with a fic when I decided changing the POV might be fun and a good challenge for me.

If I had to pick a thing I feel I'm poorest at as a fic writer, it would be writing from a child's POV. It actually ties with writing sexy scenes (I'm terrible at those as well), but I thought to actually try and improve on writing from a child's POV. I did okay with writing a fic from child!Sherlock's POV, but my child!Sherlock is slightly sociopathic and adult-like (or is adult!Sherlock just really childish?) so that didn't seem to really count.

Following my penchant for writing fics about obscure characters in a fandom rather than the main ones, I decided to write a fic that chronicled how Cecil Palmer of Night Vale came into being. Or to put it another way, how Cecil's mother and older brother came to Night Vale and Cecil was born. I wrote about half of the fic from Cecil's mom's POV because it seemed the most logical. But then I had the idea that it might actually be better as seen through Cecil's brother's eyes (who is about three in the story). Writing from the POV of a three year old is hard. Especially since it did sort of drastically cut down the easiest route of explaining (Cecil's mom thinking as a way of explaining to readers) why the story opens up with Cecil's mom and Cecil's brother driving in a car, toward a town they never reach. But it also gave me the perfect excuse not to explain every little thing because Cecil's brother will never know every little thing. Like what happened to his dad. Or why suddenly they were in a new town where everyone seems to know them even though they're a bunch of strangers. Writing it has both been kind of fun but also lots of me questioning if three year olds would really notice things I'm having the brother notice and what actually frightens three year olds versus it just being super interesting.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on January 19th, 2014 05:38 am (UTC)
I've been wondering lately what a fic from Abby's point of view might look like, and she'd be about that age (3 years old). I generally think a child can tell a story from about five or six years, but I think before then, they would get too caught up in everything to tell a story. It would jump from thought to thought, I'd imagine, and not be a story so much as a bunch of general observations about what's going on. That's just my opinion, though, I don't know anything about child development.

I don't know what POV would be challenging for me. I think I've tackled most characters. POVs are one of my favourite parts of writing, though, I like switching them and seeing how the story changes, and I love an outsider POV.

I think it's great that you're challenging yourself! Writing is good, even just For Science.
X-parrotxparrot on January 19th, 2014 09:39 pm (UTC)
I've definitely found that changing POV can change a whole story - sometimes if I've been blocked I'll try switching it. But yeah, writing from a child's POV can be hard, and I don't think I've ever written from one that young (mostly more like 9-10). Would be a challenge, yeah, but at the same time you could leave so much unexplained (especially an advantage in writing Night Vale!)