Write the world   collective voice prompt

Collective Voice



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"At first, our pack was all hair and snarl and floor-thumping joy." 
[From "St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves," by Karen Russell]

Point of view (or P.O.V. as it's often called) is the perspective from which a narrative is told. Most of you are familiar with first person ("I") and third person ("she/he"). A seldom used but powerful P.O.V. is the COLLECTIVE, in which a story is told from the perspective of a group—a pack of werewolves, a whole town, multiple siblings, a troop, a band, a flock...

This week we want to hear your collective voice. Read the examples below, and these remarkable pieces by Logan WarshawMaggie Mills, and Dewayne Green, and then write your own story (fictive or true), looking through the eyes of many. Whole narratives or fragments/segments welcome!


Karen Russell: “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves”
Fiction: 15 daughters of werewolves adapt to human society.


At first, our pack was all hair and snarl and floor-thumping joy. We forgot the barked cautions of our mothers and fathers, all the promises we’d made to be civilized and ladylike, couth and kempt. We tore through the austere rooms, overturning dresser drawers, pawing through the neat piles of the Stage 3 girls’ starched underwear, smashing light bulbs with our bare fists. Things felt less foreign in the dark. The dim bedroom was windowless and odourless. We remedied this by spraying exuberant yellow streams all over the bunks. We jumped from bunk to bunk, spraying. We nosed each other mid-air, our bodies buckling in kinetic laughter. The nuns watched us from the corner of the bedroom, their tiny faces pinched with displeasure. 


Julie Otsaka: “Come, Japanese”
Historical fiction: Japanese picture brides (young women who have never met their husbands-to-be) immigrate to the US by boat in the early 1900s.


On the boat we were mostly virgins. We had long black hair and flat wide feet and we were not very tall. Some of us had eaten nothing but rice gruel as young girls and had slightly bowed legs, and some of us were only fourteen years old and were still young girls ourselves. Some of us came from the city, and wore stylish city clothes, but many more of us came from the country and on the boat we wore the same old kimonos we’d been wearing for years—faded hand-me-downs from our sisters that had been patched and redyed many times. 


Kyle Boelte: "Reluctant Citizens"
Nonfiction: A firsthand account of jury duty.

 
We are reluctant citizens, the twelve of us—fifteen if you count the three alternatives—sitting in the wood-panelled box on the side of the windowless courtroom in San Francisco. Already we are staring out into the distance, straining to stay awake, as the judge reads us his opening instructions. It is the first day of the trial.