Point of View

With the exception of the beginning, which may end up as a prologue, the entirety of Unexpected is from the point of view of one character: Doug.

Choosing to have the story be third-person limited (so we know what Doug is thinking, but not anyone else) means that there are times when action is happening away from our frame of reference.  This can lead to interesting moments.

From a phone call we learn that Doug’s ex-wife Nikki has shown up at a meeting location, possibly throwing a wrench in the plans.  Doug is not there, but his friend Ryan leaves it at “I’ll take care of it.”  We get a teaser that something happened (“You should talk to Ryan about his evening with Nikki”) but until Ryan and Doug meet up later, we don’t get to hear the whole story.  (Full disclosure: I haven’t quite figured out the whole story, so it’s currently a place holding sentence.)  This is a kind of fun way to lead the reader on, as long as it pays out in the end.

With the limited point of view, I can also leave a question unanswered.  SPOILER ALERT, if you feel the need.  There is an explosion, and Kiwi is in the house when it happens.  Doug, and therefore the reader, is left for a while not knowing if she survived.

I am kind of enjoying the benefits of this type of point of view, even if it does mean having characters go back and explain their point of view to Doug after the fact.