I am intrigued when an author — or blogger — chooses to depart from the usual method of writing. Many authors tell a story in the third person, while others might use the second person or even adopt a first-person view by having a main character act as the narrator for the story.
And the storytelling isn’t just limited to men or women. Some writers might create a story using a teenager, a young child, a cat or a dog as the narrator. Two bloggers I know, Jaclyn and The Byronic Man, chose to write some of their posts from their newborn’s point of view, making for some great material.
You can even turn a plot inside out when you’re a writer and go away from the initial introduction of the characters, the battle of the protagonist(s), the defeat of the bad guys and the denouement. For example, playwright Harold Pinter in his play “Betrayal” tells the classic story of a love affair from the moment a couple meets and has that initial moment of attraction, to the decision to cheat on a spouse, and coping with the emotions of the affair. What makes this story different is that the significant events of the love affair are presented backward in time, so that the couple meets for the first time at the very end of the story. I saw the play in performance once and it felt like seeing one layer after another taken away, as if the affair was analyzed and stripped down to the bare essentials.
In the movie “Snake Eyes” with Nicolas Cage, Brian de Palma took this method of storytelling a bit further. You piece together what’s going on because you are literally seeing different points of view from different characters.
Another book I read recently used an interesting form of plot development. The first chapter was about three women going to their college reunion; each wandered separately to a fountain on campus to relive some memories. The women started talking about their past love stories and the book split into three separate sections, with each woman’s story ending on a cliffhanger. The final chapter wrapped up all three plot lines to satisfy the reader’s curiosity about what happened to the characters. Nice.
I love this kind of creativity. Blog readers, what do you think is the most interesting departure from traditional storytelling that you’ve ever seen?