This is part of a series of posts on Plotting Difficult Topics.
In Inviting the Wolf In: Thinking About Difficult Stories by Loren Niemi and Elizabeth Ellis, the authors recognize that how you approach a difficult subject can make huge differences in voice, POV, plot and resolution. They suggest 32 different approaches and this series of posts works out those approaches for the following scenario.
The Scenario: A girl watches her mother place a box of candy on the highest book shelf; the candy is meant as a birthday gift for the girl’s grandmother. The girl decides to sneak up and steal/eat some of the candy.
- Wickedness, Denial, Testimony
It was the first time I remember deliberately lying. I loved the coconut candies and it just took a fingernail to slit along the box wrapping and it was open like a Pandora’s box. I popped one into my mouth. And later another. And later another. Until it was half empty. Well, I chose to see it as half full, so when the questions came, I shrugged and denied.
- Wickedness, Denial, Confession
The old eyes flashed, then grew dull. Her birthday present was half eaten.
“Mice?” I whispered. Then I tucked my tiny feet under my skirts. Who would have known that she would take it so hard. Wouldn’t she have opened it and offered us some anyway?
It was nothing. There was no responsibility that I had to consider.
- Wickedness, Denial, Therapy
In the end, it mattered little. It was just a box of chocolates and just another birthday for an old woman.
My mother–she is scared of the old lady. Daddy makes too much of Grandma.
And they all three make too much of the Truth, which they speak with a capital T. It matters little if they ever know that I ate the candy and licked the chocolate from my fingers, savoring each bite.
- Wickedness, Denial, Transformation
Through it all, I clung to the denial and they could never pin it on me. No witnesses.
But in the end, I knew: I would never again touch chocolate coconut candy. It would always be too bitter for me.
This is part of a series of posts on Plotting Difficult Topics