Type Safe Models in Node

This is the first of an ongoing series on how I build testable, input-validated systems in Node. This post focuses on the first building block, validated models. Many years ago, before I ever got…


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How to Find the Right Point of View Character for Your Story

An exercise for figuring out which lens through which to look at the framework of your story.

I’ve been watching Netflix’s show AJ and the Queen today.

In the very few opening moments there’s a kid, maybe nine years old, wearing jeans and a beanie. The kid is AJ. The visual shifts to a drag queen in a huge red wig. Anyone who’s got any cultural knowledge recognizes RuPaul, but it doesn’t really matter. She’s gorgeous. The drag queen is Ruby Red.

AJ talks about Ruby Red for a minute.

And then the kid says something like this:

When you’re thinking about your novel — or your short story — it’s important to consider whose story you’re telling.

You can tell the same story through any number of lenses.

In AJ and the Queen, the story is the same — a kid and a drag queen on a road trip. Part comedy. Part thriller. Part family drama. Whether it’s AJ’s story or Ruby Red’s might seem like a matter of semantics.

But the truth is that it does matter. If this was purely Ruby Red’s story it would be more of a thriller. The story would be less funny. Less touching and more dangerous. More police procedural.

Because it’s AJ’s (After three or four episodes, I agree, it is), we get the family drama and the thriller takes a different flavor.

Either story makes sense. Either story works. Someone, at some point, decided to tell the AJ’s story — the story with more family drama, more comedy, and less of a serious thriller angle.

But also, a little more heartbreak. The kind you can only get when you’re telling a story through a nine-year-old’s lens.

Take some time, before you start writing, to think about who lives in your story. Think beyond the obvious first choice for a point-of-view character.

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