Tonight, I wrote the next installment of Harald’s Story. If I did everything correctly, it should automatically show up on WOTL tomorrow. At this juncture, I thought it appropriate to offer some of my own musings on this story, and possibly on writing in general.
The section I wrote tonight contains a couple events of significance. The first event is the departure of Father Delling from the tale. Strangely, his passage into the shadows is rather understated, given how fond I and some of my readers have become of him. There’s no fanfare or grand speeches. In fact, the goodbyes themselves are not recorded because they are observed from a distance. And yet, this seems appropriate for the old monk. I do not know if he will return. I have played with the possibility that he might make a brief appearance as the story wraps itself up. But even that is merely a possibility.
The other event of significance is not about plot, but the storytelling itself. I have added a new point of view to the narration. This new section is told from the point of view of Captain Soren. To be honest, this both surprises me an troubles me. When I introduced his character, I had no intention of telling his point of view. And yet, tonight’s work made it clear that it was appropriate to do so.
This troubles me because I find myself wondering if Soren, a character I introduced to play a relatively small part, might have just taken on a bigger role than I had planned. I grant you that he would not be the first character in the story to do so. Both Berit (who I planned to deny even a name beyond “Girl” when I first imagined her) and Brother Jens were originally introduced as small actors meant to merely push the plot along, and somehow managed to insert themselves into the heart of the tale against my own plans.
Alas, I am a poor author at the mercy of his characters! I fear they may next demand that I include their names be added to the author line. Or perhaps one of them will make mention of their cut of any royalties. It’s an amusing thought, though I’m not sure how amusing it really is.
I think the next installment I write will likely be told from Jens’s point of view. I’m a bit concerned by that possibility, as I’m not sure I can catch his inner voice correctly. Point of view can be tricky like that, and Jens is possibly the character whose point of view is most difficult for me. I’m not sure whether that’s due to how unfamiliar his mindset has become to me or how familiar it used to be.
I’m reminded of a friend of mine, whom I shall call Trish. Six or seven years ago, she tried her hand at writing. For her, writing was one of the ways for her to try to process through her own confusion and resentment toward her funamentalist Christian background. Her main villain was a domineering woman who embodied everything she despised about those from Trish’s background that had hurt her. To put it mildly, this villain was a caricature of pure evil. And unless you’re trying to write a fairy tale, such caricature’s don’t really work that well. Fortunately, Trish was trying to write a fairy tale.
Unfortunately for Trish, she tried to write a few chapters from her villains point of view. I can honestly say that those chapters did not work at all. A narrator who oozes that much evil is simply unbelievable, even in a fairy tale. Under such circumstances, you have to make the person’s point of view seem at least someone reasonable, even if it’s ultimately objectionable.
I sincerely hope that my efforts to relay Brother Jens’s point of view is more realistic than Trish’s portrayal of the inner workings of her villain’s mind. But I still worry that I’ll be able to do it justice. Hopefully Brother Jens himself will step up and guide me through the process, as so many of the others have already done.