Author Topic: which presentation style should i use?  (Read 1461 times)

Offline angel_16

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which presentation style should i use?
« on: January 11, 2007, 08:29:14 AM »
hey everyone,
i've just finished writing most of my teenage fiction novel but i'm feeling kind of stuck because i'm not sure what will be the best way of presenting the story.
the story's written in first person by a seventeen year old girl and i'd orignially thought of putting the whole thing across as a series of journal entries. that is, the story is told through the girl's diary entries. but lately i've been thinking that because i've written it like a secret diary there are a few parts where it's very difficult to maintain suspense because whatever happens is just  'written out' by the character in her diary. for example, the girl is from a really coservative family and so can't let her mother know about her boyfriend and there's a part where her mum almost catches them together. This scene is just related by the main character after it has taken place so she begins the entry by writing out how lucky she feels that she narrowly escaped the situation and i feel that this just kills the suspense that could be created if i just wrote the whole thing as a regular novel chapter by chapter, whereby maybe i could end one chapter at a crucial point and carry on the action in the next.
but then there are other parts which i feel are best put across in the diary-entry form because the character can really express her thoughts and feelings then, so i'm pretty confused as to what i should do.
do you think a diary kind of presentation would be more effective or should i stick to a regular chapter by chapter novel? or is there maybe some way of combining the two? this is the first time i've ever attempted writing something this complex so i really don't have much of an idea. Please do share your views....   

Offline rewh2oman

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Re: which presentation style should i use?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2007, 08:38:48 AM »
I've never attempted the "diary kind of thing".  What about doing flashbacks or daydreaming while she's writing an entry in her diary?  While in that "state", you could write a "regular chapter".

just a thought, russ

Offline Tiggywinkle

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Re: which presentation style should i use?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2007, 11:38:07 AM »
I think it would work if some of your story was narrated partly iin the first person and some as a journal.    For example, in some chapters  the heroine would narrate the story - 'I went to the movies with Dave'.  You could save the more action filled pieces for the directly told story and the more reflective for the diary (eg I don't like to think what would have happened if Mum had caught us...).  Viewpoint is tricky but I don't think you have to consider yourself bound to do one or the other.  Sometimes it works to mix things.  Hope that's a bit of help.

Offline Jillanne Nehls

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Re: which presentation style should i use?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2007, 05:08:30 PM »
Hi Angel,

In my professional opinion, to write a book based completely on a diary format wouldn't contain the necessity and flexibility of having characters interacting with one another, building tension, and having effective dialogue between them in order to move the story along.  I've read several books that have incorporated a paragraph or two in some chapters in diary format as a way to let the reader get into the personal and secret thoughts of a character who wouldn't tell another soul about except in a diary. Writing in only journal or diary form is too single minded and wouldn't provide all of the important story telling dynamics that make a book publishable.

I hope this helps!  Let me know how you do.

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Offline angel_16

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Re: which presentation style should i use?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2007, 05:14:17 AM »
thanks everyone! I've decided to try and mix the two formats like you suggested so let's see how it turns out...
cheers!

Offline orchid15

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Re: which presentation style should i use?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2007, 01:27:19 PM »
Or you could skip the diary and have her tell her secret thoughts to her cat., and sometimes to a best friend- who can add a little conflicht.

After all, if she's writing in the diary, everything has happened and you sorta know what to expect.  but her cat can tag along unexpectedly and she could talk to it in a situation where the outcome isn't clear.

orchid
"The beautiful part of writing is that you don't havto get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon." Robert Cormier
 

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