Never Let Them See You Die

20110322-102057.jpgBy

J. F. Lewis

Before getting too far into today’s blog, I wanted to mention that I have a free Void City short featuring Greta and Eric at the beach up today over at Pocket After Dark. Check it out over here http://tinyurl.com/4vspjmr and then come right back, because I wanted to talk about it. Don’t worry, I’ll still be here when you get back.

Back? Did you have fun? That Greta sure can eat, can’t she?

Pieces like that (it’s almost a vignette, but it goes beyond one scene) are fun for writers. We get to tell the reader a story that doesn’t exactly fit into the larger piece. Maybe it’s not exactly a deleted scene, but more a possible derailment of the narrative.

We’ve all read books where the author goes off on some wild (yet interesting) tangent that leaves us disconnected from the important events in the book when we come through the other side of it. You may have even caught yourself skimming back to refresh your memory before proceeding.

In the Void City series, it’s quite possible this scene (Greta’s vampiric transformation) might be told from Greta’s point of view eventually. She likes to reflect on memories and inflict them on others to see how they react, but I thought it unlikely we’d get it from Eric’s point of view. And there, like in Rashomon and movies using The Rashomon Effect (telling the same story multiple times through the eyes of different characters) is the fun bit. I think it’s interesting to note that Eric doesn’t realize Greta hasn’t eaten in three days (though we know that from one of her chapter’s in Crossed). Greta doesn’t likely understand how Eric truly felt about the situation either. More fascinating for me, is the idea that if I were to go back and rewrite the scene from the point of view of Marilyn or someone else on the beach, the story would be so different as to almost be unrecognizable.

John Gardner’s Grendel is one of my favorite books that does this, recounting the story of Beowulf from the point of view of the monster… though Gregory Maguire’s Wicked is likely more well known. Which brings me to a question, if you could pick, what story or stories would you like to see rewritten from another viewpoint? Which viewpoint?

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