Keeping Your Perspective While Writing...

I haven't posted much about writing lately, but this is not because I haven't been writing. On the contrary, I've been rather busy with stories lately. In fact, I recently completed one tale set during in World War I, involving our vampyre "Nathan" (from The Vampyre Blogs part of the Para-Earths Series) and a zeppelin. Sounds intriguing? Well, I'm afraid you'll have to wait until the 2nd anthology "Two for the Road" to come out, to read it. 

Which with a little luck, and some actual work on my part, may actually happen later this year. We'll see... HAHAHAHA (I crack myself up some days). But seriously, I would like to see it happen, but if I've learned anything in the last few months is that "Life gets in the way...", so we'll see. Mind you I will try to keep you all in the loop as best I can.

And speaking of stories, I've also been working on a second lengthy tale which will also appear in that same collection. This one will have a trigger warning at the beginning because the subject matter involves a sex trafficking operation. This tale will involve some sex, violence, and threats of violence against women. Now the key part of this story will be that it is not being told by Nathan or one of the other regular members of the cast. Instead, it's been told from the point of view of a brand-new character who will reappear in later stories. 

Sounds intriguing? I hope so, because this story has given me no end of difficulty to write for a very particular reason. You see, in most of my other stories involving Nathan, just about all of them in fact, the person telling the storyteller is Nathan, or one of the other key supporting cast members who are already familiar with vampire-like existence. 

One of the few exceptions to this rule is a story titled "The Artist Tale", which appeared in our other site THE VAMPYRE BLOGS--Private Edition. However, the protagonist in that story comes to learn about his situation as he helps her through a very difficult time of her life and becomes part of his extended family.

Admittedly, in "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home", two prominent characters (Marisa and Pastor Lamar Gregory) were ignorant about Nathan, but both learned the truth before the book was over because it was a large part of the story. 

This time, however, I'm working on a short story... hell, who am I kidding it has already reached novelette length. Anyway, I'm working with a character who has absolutely no idea of who (or what) Nathan is. 

And this is where I've been encountering some troubles. You see, I want her to remain ignorant of Nathan's vampiric nature and abilities. So now I'm trying to juggle how certain crucial events unfold in the story, in a way that neither she, nor Lisa who is with her throughout most of the adventure, actually see Nathan in action. Oh, they might catch glimpse of what's happening, but then the rest of the more brutal action takes place off screen. Say like... a guy gets pulled through the opening of a small door for instance. That kind of thing. 

However, neither girl will actually see who's behind a lot of this violence. Mind you, they'll hear a lot of what's going down in the next room, and will get to see a fair amount of the aftermath, (and believe me, some of it will NOT be pretty). Now some of you may be asking why I'm taking this particular route with the story. Well, I've had more than one person tell me how they'd like to see Nathan not hold back for a change since that's what he usually does.

So, I had to come up with a scenario where he wouldn't even think twice about holding back. Thus, I came up with a story where he'd be only too willing to cut loose and leave a body count in his wake. And a sex trafficking operation fit the bill since he'd no doubt be facing some very violent people.

Now, at the same time, I've also trying to keep the narrator and Lisa ignorant of just who is coming to their rescue (although Lisa and the reader pretty much knows who it is) but not let either girl 'see' too much of what Nathan is doing to rescue them. And let me tell you, it's been an interesting challenge to write the story this way. To deal with part of this problem, I've resorted to making sure most of the more violent action scenes take place off screen, but close enough for our storyteller and Lisa to hear and react to what they can make out. 

However, it doesn't always work out this way. 

You see time and again I get so caught up in the action of the story, I lose my sense of perspective. I forget the rules I've created for myself in this story. So, I'll get a whole bunch of writing done one day, and then go back over it the next day and realize I've written a great action sequence where Lisa and our storyteller got to see too much. And it's at this point where I (literally on a few occasions) say out loud to myself, "HEY! I thought we were keeping Nathan and his abilities a secret, remember?" Then I go back and spend the next hour or two rewriting the entire scene.

Mind you in doing all that rewrite I have to really work to keep my perspective, but also make sure the reader doesn't get bored. After all, most readers are used to getting to witness the action firsthand, so to speak. However, it eventually occurred to me that another author, one of my favorites in fact, who found a way to write some of the most hair-raising and tantalizing tales where many times we don't get to see the actual action but are still kept on the edge of our seats regardless.

This style of writing was employed by H. P. Lovecraft, the author and creator of the Cthulhu mythos. In his works, many a time the main character catches a brief glimpse of something so horrifying or mind-shattering, that he only gave the reader snippets of what the character witnessed or discovered, then focused mainly on the character's reactions and feelings. The horror, revulsion, and sense of being in the presence of something that didn't belong in this world, could make the reader feel and react to the situation as if they were actually there in the moment.

It's a unique method of storytelling, but extremely effective. I'd compare it to the use of shadows in early horror movies to let the audience 'see' what terrible thing is being done to a victim, without a lot of blood and gore. I for one still love this technique and shiver at some of those old black and white scenes. This is probably because I subscribe to the idea that as much as special effects artists can come up with incredible and grisly results, it still doesn't compare to what our own imaginations can come up with. Lovecraft understood this, and it is why his works are still sending shivers down spines to this day.

This method allows an author to keep their perspective, while also conveying volumes of information and emotion to the readers all at the same time. Which is why I'm so glad I still read so much. You see, you never know when something another author does or employs in their storytelling, that can help you with your own work in progress. And keeping that perspective, can be so vital to giving our readers an incredible experience.

Well, that's all for now. Stay tuned and keep writing my friends!


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