01-15-2009 12:26 PM - last edited on 01-15-2009 10:47 PM by Rachel-K
Because Towner is an unreliable narrator, I used some different points of view in the book in order to let the reader discover some things that Towner either didn't know or wasn't sharing. I also changed from present to past tense in places. Some of the shifts come near the end of the book which is unconventional, but I felt that it was important to this story and to the its theme about perception. I'm very interested in your comments about these shifts.
01-17-2009 12:04 AM
I really liked how you did switch points of view. I think it gave the story a little bit more depth. At first it caught me off guard and I had to think a little more about what was going on but in a good way. In a way it helped to pull the story together but also made me question what I was thinking about. Good choice!
01-17-2009 04:23 PM
I think most stories really need more than one voice. Even if Towner was not an unreliable narrator, still there are things that happen in a story any narrator would not be privy too and so you need the others voices to tell you. I read one great book that was done in a journal style, of letters. You would think that would be all one voice and then you would either have to accept the writer as reliable or question it all. But even in this story, you needed to know someone else's (in particular) side of this story to get the full texture of it. Interestingly, since the book had no chapters, and even tho you would know the other voice when you came to it because it was not a letter and it was a female, the author and publishers put a symbol at each part that belonged to each rather than a chapter number. It was about the Orient in the 1500s, so one symbol, I think it was a flower was her voice, the other, an Asian symbol, was his. I really liked that not because I needed it to deliniate who was talking but because in going back to discuss it, I could easily find which chapters were hers to look through and which were his. Nice little trick for this particular book. But the main thing here was, the narrator couldn't tell all of the story you needed to know. You had to have her voice too. So yes, I think the same is true of the Lace Reader. There is too much going on to only have Towner's POV and because we believe she is an unreliable narrator, we also need those other POV's, to really find this out for sure.
Time shifts can drive me crazy. It depends on how they are handled. I am reading one book right now that part of it takes place in the present and part takes place in the past and just when you really get going good in one time, bam, the next chapter is the other! Then you spend a few pages trying to orient yourself to what happened there last and deciding to go with this story again and then it gets really good and bam! There we go again and time to figure out what was happening when you were in this time period last because they really seem like two different stories and it would be like going to a movie theater, watching a full 15 to 20 minutes of one movie, then dashing across the hall and watching 15 minutes of it then dashing back to the first one and trying to keep the stories straight. I think for me, it depends on how often they happen (how many flashbacks in a movie can you take before you want to walk) and why they happen. I think you have a good sense of where to put them Brunonia. For things to come together in the end, when you have an unreliable narrator, you have to have someone else trigger the events of the past that let to this point (this possible still point) by giving you the facts or their point of view, or her going back and forth in time as things are triggered to find the truth, so I think you did a good job there too.
On these two questions you ask here, POV and time shifts, I give you thumbs up on both.
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
01-21-2009 01:34 PM
In general, I like shifting points of view and time periods. The shifts keep my mind active and make me compare the past and present or the different characters perspectives. I think shifts add depth to a story.
I want to draw attention to one shift, the one on pages 321-2 of the hardcover featured in the header. Towner finds herself reminded of the Golden Gate Bridge in the present and then finds herself reflecting on the first time she saw Golden Gate Bridge in the past for a few moments. I felt like I was really in Towner's mind, her thoughts drifting to the past, and then snapping back to the present. It was like a stream of consciousness, without all the run on sentences and confusion. Yeah!
Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.