Framing Devices

A "framing device" in storytelling is generally an excuse to tell your story. There's an old man at the fireside, telling the young ones about his glorious adventures as a youth. There's a bundle of letters your main character's sister unearthed in the attic, and she's reading them. Clippings from a newspaper depict the extraordinary arrival of your main character on a ghost ship in the midst of a storm.

Framing devices.

Some framing devices are super obvious, like the prologue to A Princess of Mars, or the opening scene of Wicked. (If you've never seen the play, please consider taking the soonest opportunity to do so. In short - the whole story is a flashback for the Good Witch of the North.)

Other framing devices are less obvious, such as the journal entries for Dracula (although that gets stretched very thin by about halfway through the book) or the recordings/broadcasts for Zombies, Run! (which is a fantastic exercise app and a top-notch story that I will never get tired of). Those are framing devices that are better integrated with the story, to the point where you hardly even notice they're there.

All this to say - I want the way I deliver my story to make sense. It's not just a story, floating in the void of an omniscient (*cough* characterless *cough*) third person perspective. I want the narrator to have a reason for sharing the story, and an audience to share it with.

The problem with this desire is that... I'm going to have to rehash what I've developed. Again.

Or maybe, this desire would be better suited to another story. I don't even know anymore.

The point is, I love stories that make sense. I like it when even the telling itself makes sense - see the review I've got scheduled for a couple days from now. You'll know what I mean if you've read the book.

So I suppose, Inklings, here's a question for you: is it worth chasing this ethereal dream of a narrator with character if it's going to set me back yet another couple months?

#Writing #Techniques #Conundrum

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