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04 May 2007 @ 01:15 pm
Flist? Opinions?  

What are your opinions on fics which are essentially collected fragments of a fictional text? As in, letters, phone call transcripts, diary entries? Do they need a grounding point of view or (if well written) do they stand on their own as just those partial texts?

(I'm thinking here of stories like bastardsnow's excellent Stars (Dear Diary Remix) and the like)

Plus, I'm now awake and bored. Anyone got anything that looks vaguely like work and will keep me distracted for the afternoon? (Not allowed to use my headphones except on breaks so vids and songs are out for now)

(random edit here, I don't normally eat breakfast but it's been pointed out to me numerous times (mostly by acrazywench that not doing so is not healthy. So I started eating breakfast lately, but now I get hungrier earlier in the day. That's just so wrong! I'm starving right now, and I said I would stop in to Mothercare to pick up some newborn sleepsuits and scratchmits for my sister (she has gift vouchers to use up). It'll be another four hours before I get home probably. I may keel over on the way.)

Current Mood: curiouscurious
smhwpf on May 4th, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC)
I think they can work as a stand-alone. The first part of Bram Stoker's Dracula is a fairly good example - there it's made easier as he's had the main hero write the bulk of the narrative in his letters/diaries. If you don't have a character who writes long narrative entries, then you have the difficulty of dealing with the gaps - that's harder, but I think can work really well, if you can allow the partial and fragmented accounts contained in the bits of texts to gradually add up to give the reader a full picture of the story. But I would imagine that would take some pretty careful planning and a lot of revisions!
tessarintessarin on May 5th, 2007 03:59 pm (UTC)
I think they can work especially the diary format which can be used to reflect past events into the present. So you can effectively have two stories running at the same time. Also the characters find out stuff at the same rate as the reader which means you can add nasty cliff hangers in there. Much like the journal in Moria.

Email and phone ones are trickier , but they can be used to keep a mysterious air about a backstory or as part of a trail of crumbs leading to the indentity of a big bad.

I think they work better used in conjuction with a normal narrative flow but they an work very well as standalones in certain circumstances. The breakdown of communications and changing tone at the end of the world or apocalyptic scenario would be ideal. A sort of prolonged fade out.
still searching for something...: Darlaamy_star_ on May 7th, 2007 12:37 am (UTC)
If they're written well, then why not? Some of them I have trouble with, but again, I think that might be the quality of the writing. If you can get a complete story out of it, it's coherent and maintains interest I'd call it a success. I have a harder time with the phone calls as a rule - not sure why, just seem to have difficulty - but I've seen a few letters and journal-style ones that are great. I agree with another commenter in that the devices might work more as a supplement to conventional storytelling, but they can work on their own.
And work better than some other devices - I have a strong dislike for any story that's told using *only* dialogue. Funny, in that what I like to write is dialogue. But IMO, it takes a lot of work and more God-given talent to be able to pull that off even semi-successfully... and Lord help us that some of the wee young fangirls seem to have taken to that style...
monkey_matt: Different - monkey_mattmonkey_matt on May 8th, 2007 09:02 am (UTC)
The biggest problem with epistolary literature is making the difference between different forms clear. If you can do that then you've got it cracked. Voice is pretty important too, but it then again, it usually is...

Give it a go. Different is good!