Stories within a story

My second Story Cubes Challenge entry is done, pending Kyrie reviewing it. I have a sneaking suspicion she’s going to want me to tweak the ending — and I’m kind of hoping she’s got a suggestion, because all I can see is that it isn’t working as well as it could. If it didn’t have to be up by Saturday, I’d set it aside for a few days, but the structure of the challenge…

But I’m also curious to see her reaction — and yours, once I post it — because I switched approaches partway through the story. The POV character, Riordan, is the town storyteller, the one who knows all the tales from the old days. Every small town has at least one person like that — often more than one. In this case, he’s telling two linked stories, both of which he was involved in. The first is written as him telling the story present day. The second is written flashback style, so we see it unfolding as it happened in the past. In the first, you keep the interaction between him and his audience. But you lose the immediacy of the story. In the second, we’re watching it, and it’s more engaging for that reason. But we don’t get to see how his audience reacts to the events of the story until it ends. When I rework this section to fit into Book 1, both will probably end up being told the same way, but I haven’t decided which is more effective. I’ll be interested to see what you guys think.

What’s your latest storytelling challenge? It can be structure, pacing, POV… Anything that is making you puzzle over the best approach to telling your story.