This is my first blog to discuss the thought process that I am going through to initiate my new story. The challenge for me in this, of course, is to share enough to be meaningful to you, while not over committing myself to any aspect of the story. It is essential, in my thinking, that I retain the flexibility necessary to make changes to the storyline as the story develops. With that caveat, let’s give it a try.
Setting: I believe the story is better served by an earlier time frame, and I have tentatively chosen the late 1950s, and more specifically 1958. Why then? For a few reasons: A component of the story relates to the social relationship of boys to girls, which at that time was quite different from today. There is also a game commonly played by children then that holds a surprisingly major role in the story’s development. I also believe it was a simpler time, which allows the story to unfold without the need to dig into the more complex social matters of today. Remember, in my mind, this is a short story.
Setting: I have chosen what would be considered as a more rural town in those days. I simply believe that the story will unfold better in California’s San Joaquin Valley, than a big city environment like San Francisco or Los Angeles.
Characters: I have settled on the main character, an twelve-year-old girl who lives in a trailer park. A female protagonist works much better than a male for the story I have in mind.
Written in First Person: While most books are written in third person, I am choosing first person for this one. This means that all things will be seen through the eyes of the female protagonist. Why? I see this as a warm, coming-of-age story, and I believe that the reader will feel her experiences more in first person. The task for me, of course, is making a twelve year old’s stream of consciousness sound like it is coming from a person that age, yet still have the necessary focus to believably move the story forward. Paying attention to the typical things that an elementary school student might encounter in those days is also important, I believe, to the story’s nostalgia and charm. A further bit of research should help with that story aspect.