So there I am, looking down on my own chimneys.(hard to see, in these small photos. But the 'copter is above the roof, to the right of that tall tree) Defintely a new and different view of my own life.
Writers are always looking for new viewpoints. One of the most astounding in recent years was the tour-de-force called "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold, in which the story is told by a dead fourteen year old girl who looks down and relates the effect of her murder on the lives of everyone who knew her. More recently, "The Book Thief," which I'm told (I haven't read it yet) is narrated by Death.
Whose story is this? Who should tell it? are the questions I ask myself when I begin a new book. Often the answer is straightforward. Other times, less so. Long ago, a book called AUTUMN STREET which remains one of my favorites, the story (a mostly-true one from my own childhood, actually) is told through the perceptions of a very young child but in the voice of a grown woman looking back on the events.
More recently, I wrestled with point-of-view when writing THE SILENT BOY. The title character is a boy about fourteen, but he doesn't (can't) speak. Who should tell his story? Eventually I decided that it worked best if the events in the plot are told by someone who doesn't completely understand them: a little girl. The Unreliable Narrator, this is called in writing courses. It is an intriguing challenge for the writer, and often a remarkable experience for the reader (most notable example coming to my mind at the moment: "Why I Live at the PO" by Eudora Welty)...