Monday, 7 May 2012

unreliable and strong

Like 2.5 million others in the UK I spent the last 12 weeks watching the American import Homeland on Channel 4. It was incredibly gripping, even when the narrative was implausible.

But hey, it's telly, it's made up. The writer has the freedom to tell the story how they see it and that's what makes it so darn strong.

What really stands out in this powerful drama is the use of two unreliable and uniquely challenging narrators. Carrie and Brody within their own spectrum have deep issues and we are always on the edge of curiosity,  never fully trusting the point of view of either to be exactly as it might seem. Bold and exciting it works really well on television and it's given me some comfort in two characters of my own.

I've just begun writing a new novel, although the thinking process has been going on for some months with my two protagonists, a brother and sister, driving the shape of the story with strong, often loud and frequently opinionated voices. Each though also possesses a soft and vulnerable side, a kind voice that emancipates them from the darker, troubled elements of who they are.

In different ways they are threatening to take me in directions I hadn't originally planned for them. It's incredibly exciting, I love them both for suggesting the way ahead and rejoice that they are strong enough already to think that it is they that can dictate the proceedings.

At the moment we're stepping off a jagged cliff face and hoping that the wind will carry us. Today I believe that we can fly.

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