View Full Version : POV's

02-21-2005, 07:29 PM
Most members here already know my backstory, but I'll give you all the short version. Just over five years ago, my father committed suicide. I've come to terms with it and I feel an obligation to share my history. If anything, maybe my story can help others in similar situations.

Now, with that said... I've started this story a thousand times. I've used first person narrative, third person omniscent, starting from the beginning, using flashbacks. But, I always get stuck.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

02-21-2005, 07:36 PM
Since it's such a personal story, I'd suggest 1st person past tense. However, if you want to leave some distance between the readers and yourself... then you can use 3rd person -- or you can write in first person first, then change all the reference to 3rd person later on. E.g.: "I saw my father kill himself" would become "she saw her father kill himself."

As for starting the story... hmmm... it's hard to tell. Maybe you can post something or send me something privately so I can take a look. I suspect that you want to write as a memoir (narrative non-fiction), which actually is very similar to fiction (except you're telling facts, and not fiction). So some of the guidelines may apply: start in the middle of the story, then tell the story from the beginning. Hook the readers first. That's not to say, you should start with the suicide. But maybe start with a recent conflict/problem prior to the event that tells us something about the characters... a trigger, or a turning-point.

Just a thought.


02-21-2005, 07:55 PM
Thank you! See, I knew if I'd just ask my fellow writers, the story would just click. Thanks Maestro. I think that's why I kept getting stuck. I was starting in the wrong spot.

Zoe King
02-21-2005, 08:57 PM
Given the nature of the book, I think you should use first person. Even though the distance of writing in third might make writing the book easier, first person will be far more immediate, and is far more likely to engage the reader's empathy.

As to how to start, maybe start with where you are now, then use measured flashback. Not an easy book to write, I'd imagine, but I wish you well with it.


02-21-2005, 10:57 PM
Nothing to add except good luck. I know it will be hard. It took me 25 years to try writing about the birth of my boys, and it had a happy ending. It was just the scary 24 hours before their birth that was wacko.

Anyway, good luck. Remember when it gets too tough we're here for you.


02-22-2005, 08:26 AM
Maestro gave some great advice. I might just add to think about the hook a little more. It could very well come from your own vision or feeling at the time of the incident since you said you wanted this to help others in same situations.


02-22-2005, 04:53 PM
I'm usually not an outline person as they give me massive migranes. But, I think for this situation, it may be the only way to go. I'll start there. Thanks for the input. It's really great advice. :)