Getting the child’s voice right in writing for children is easier than using a child narrator, or child’s eye view in free indirect discourse when writing for adults. If you have a child narrator in adult fiction, you have to decide if the narrator is looking back with hindsight or whether they are pretending to still be the child they were. There are plenty of examples of both of these approaches and some narratives that fall between the two extremes.
It’s got to be the easiest way to start writing, hasn’t it? Most people have kept a diary at one time or another, and most of us have written letters. Writing from the ‘I’ point of view looks like a doddle compared with handling a number of different characters, because you’re viewing the action from inside one head instead of many. But this approach brings its own problems.
The science fiction author JG Ballard (most famous for his novel Crash) was adept at making the most of the settings of his novels. They even managed to offer psychological insights into his characters. I therefore think that the settings of his stories are useful to look at as a case study – they were certainly influential on my writing.
In 2014 Erika was sentenced to 6 years for breaking the law for which she served 3 years in custody. She wanted to document her experience for posterity; the way that she chose to do this was to produce an epic visual Postcard Diary that consists of at least 1400 drawings, one drawing every day from 3 months into her 6 months on bail prior to sentencing, during the whole period of her 3 year incarceration and also following her release.