Thursday 13 December 2018

The Other Sides of the Story

The Other Sides of the Story

There are lots of ways of telling the other side of the story. Just as witness statements can vary widely even if no one is consciously lying, characters taking part in a scene might interpret it in different ways. Recently, I wrote a book which was told from two points of view. Court Leopold is a young man whose life with his indie band Courtesan is royally disrupted when he discovers his mother did a favour for a friend. On the eve of his twenty-fifth birthday he has to go to his old home and take possession of something that was promised before his birth; a special horse. Tansy Thrift is twenty-one. She's spent the last seven years caring for a horse that isn't hers. Court turns up to take possession and messes up her life even more. Things are told from their points of view and obviously they see the same events from very different perspectives.

Along the way, certain key scenes occur with one of the two main characters in the company of someone else. These include Court's mother Nanette, his singing partner Jordana, and a childhood friend named Yvanne. Nanette made the bargain in the first place, and then put off explaining it to her son. Jordana got left metaphorically holding the baby for the band when Court left in a hurry to fulfill his mother's promise. Yvanne was having a little crisis of her own when Nanette pushed her into something she didn't want to do.  None of these people could have their perceptions aired except in dialogue, and some of the conversations happened beyond the boundaries of the book.

Apart from these, were the fans; a group of people who appeared at most of Courtesan's gigs. Court had his own eclectic names for them, Orange Indian Skirt, Earnest Bearded Bloke, Marie Antoinette, The Cavalier, The Musketeer and Pisky in a Blanket. To the band, these were valued fans but not especially real. What did they make of it when Court disappeared in the middle of a festival? What about the roadie, Gemma, and Jordana's husband Chess? All these people were disrupted, puzzled and troubled in one way or another. Again, I couldn't put their parts in the book, because it would have made it too long. Still, I really wanted to tell the other sides of the story. The only viable way to do it was to write another book.

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