Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Narrative Development: My Perspective

I sit at my desk, staring out the window, past the bare-branched oak tree that skitters dry twigs across the glass, to the low-flowing river across the street. The Canadian geese have left us for warmer climes, and the few ducks who remain do not brave the currents, instead hiding in the reeds and long grass along the eroded banks. Wispy white clouds scuttle across the pale blue sky like hermit crabs, carrying reminders of snow. November is a dreary month, even in big sky country, Wyoming.

The sound of scuffling snaps my attention back into my attic room; Butters is under the bed again, making mince meat out of his Nylabone. A wry smile tugs at the corners of my mouth; just a month ago, we were preparing to say goodbye to the little guy after he ate half of Platty, his stuffed platapus, and about a baskball's worth of Polyfil stuffing, to say nothing of the plastic spoon and half a paper plate! I had no idea how very much I loved him until I almost lost him. Now he sits there, gnawing away at the one toy he is still allowed, and my heart can barely contain this feeling of love and joy!

Turning my attention to the screen in front of me, I pause; what was I writing? Oh, right! Narrative. Something about...tension. Creating it, feeling it, expressing it creatively. I should get back to it, I suppose...

Copyright 2010 @ Alena Belleque. DO NOT COPY.

When I consider narrative developement, my process is simple. Feel the story; show my readers what I see, and do it in such a way that they barely realize that they are no longer sitting and reading, but have become an emotional part of the narrative before them. I want my reader to become the character - to see what she sees, feel what she feels, and to experience every conflict as if they were actually there, in the story, in her skin. I achieve this by writing, for the most part, in real time. I prefer active tense to passive, and first person to third. I feel that if a story should not so much be told, as lived. The emotional, mental, and spiritual impact is far greater, in my opinion. And as a writer, if I connect with my characters, and with my story, I believe that my audience will as well.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Grampa Beside Me

I remember standing there, snow all around, the wind whispering in the distant tops of the pine forest. Grampa's arms and chest were so warm, as he knelt behind me, holding his hand out in front of us, full of seeds. The White Tail looked warily at me, but seemed to trust Grampa, and she came up to us, her hooves making soft crunching noises in the snow. The doe was small, but to me she was very large. I held onto Grampa's coat sleeve with my little mittened hands, and held my breath as her muzzle reached from Grampa's hand. He murmered to the deer, and her ears pricked forward and back, as if she was listening to his soft voice.

Grampa sank onto one knee, and gently lifted my hand toward the deer. I wanted to snatch it back, afraid for a moment that the deer might bite me, but the strong assurance of his arm around my little waist reminded me that Grampa would never allow anything bad to happen to me. I forgot to breathe; the deer leaned forward and nuzzled my palm.

I could not resist a soft squeal of delight, and the doe shied away, dancing over the crusty snow to the heard that fed a short distance away at the feed trough and Grampa's salt blocks. Grampa swept me up in his arms, and let you that deep chuckle that I loved so much. I snuggled into his embrace, my cold nose warmed against his hoary cheek, as he carried me back to the house, the scent of Grama's cooking wafting out to greet us.