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  1. #21
    M. Lee

    Re: A Child's Perspective

    Understood, Jon.

    I think a lot of these posts have been helpful.

    Knowing clearly who Nikki's narrator is will help a great deal, I think.

    I liked the voice a lot. But I can see that if this is truly a child's voice (in the present, not looking back from an adult perspective) it might be too mature.

    If on the other hand, this is an adult looking BACK on that time of life (and that can be implicit, it doesn't have to be spelled out) this voice would ring a bit more authentic.

    But I definitely think you're on the right track here, Nikki. And I hear what you're sayin, Jon!

  2. #22
    Richard Reilly

    Re: A Child's Perspective

    Hi Nikki, in your last post I wasn't overly keen on the alternative you suggested. To me it's still kind of listy. All but one of the sentences begins with one of her concerns; but the sentences are too 'constructed' to give the emotion that a list of 'this and this and this and...' (overlapping child's thoughts) can suggest if it's done with more emphasis on the character than the items. Equally I'd suggest focusing on character over small details of clarification. For example, this sentence: "Would he know that if he didn't get her to school before 7:55, she'd get a late pass and wouldn't be able to get a perfect attendance certificate for the week?" tells us everything we ever need to know about late passes: the time, the name of the 'award', the consequences, all that in one medium-length sentence. It could be that that amount of information in such a small space doesn't allow for other stuff (character). Or it could be that that type of focus by the writer on providing all information, clarification, clearing up any possible ambiguities, isn't allowing for focus on the character.

    I'd suggest focusing on communicating the character before communicating the information. I've made two attempts to try and illustrate what I mean - below - one in the first-person; one in the third. I'm not a writer by any means: I wouldn't expect you to like either of these; and I'm not sure they communicate the idea I'm trying to communicate, but they're my attempt to do so:

    I was watching mummy put the sandwiches in the bag and she cut the crusts off. She was humming like she always does when she makes them.
    She turned round. "Yes, honey?" I like her smile when I ask her something.
    "Will daddy take the crusts off?
    She bent down and she was touching my hair. "What honey?"
    "I mean; you; I want daddy to take the crusts off like you always do. I don't like them mummy."
    "Darling, don't you worry about that. Come here; everything'll be fine. Give mummy a hug."

    I knew he wouldn't though; and i knew he wouldn't know about the late passes, and Sister Nancy would be cross with me; and he wouldn't know whose turn it was to choose what to watch, and I didn't want to go. But then I started thinking. And I got a really good idea...(plan of how to escape.. etc.)

    Annika watched her mother cut off the crusts. Her bottom lip stuck out and she stamped her foot.
    She turned round. "What, honey?"
    "I don't want to go."
    ..(reference to crusts somewhere here)

    Annika knew her father wouldn't though. And there were the late passes: he'd never know about those. And whose turn it was to choose what to watch before bed. Daddy didn't know anything. (..etc.. makes a plan)

    (incidently, she likes the oats on the crusts, but she dislikes the crusts!)

    I realise that neither of the above address this:
    "I find that she doesn't really seem to have any expressed emotions behind things unless you change the facts, so I wanted it to sound informational b/c she sort of dwells on the information. Anything outside the information is what would be scary to her."
    ..which sounds very idiosyncratic. I took an easier route out than trying to build that character. And to work towards the character you're suggesting here i think requires further work. Those facts about the character - in relation to 'information' etc were not at all apparent to me til you said it outright.

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