After more back-and-forth with Caz from SSNAP, she has suggested the idea of asking some of the nursing staff and chaplain team to contribute – to which she has offered to speak to the matron. Without hesitation, I have said yes to the offer. As the collaboration with SSNAP is progressing, I can envisage 9 months, my arse featuring an entire section dedicated to the charity and the unit, raising awareness but also giving a huge insight into their world and every-day battles.
Building on this concept/idea, I have gone back to Caz wondering whether she thinks there are any other members of staff or departments that could offer an interesting insight, i.e. cleaners, receptionists, caterers. Being a writer and creative thinker, I am aware that it is not always the stereotypical ‘protagonists’ with the most interesting and/or useful insight and stories – sometimes it is the fly-on-the-wall or the side-characters.
Gaining the insight of all these different people involved in SSNAP and the NICU unit will offer more options if I choose to “frame” their section of the book with a storyteller or storytellers – an idea taken from Jane Roger’s chapter, Introduction to the Novel, from The Handbook of Creative Writing. She suggests that you write a day in the life of your protagonist and then write it again from a different POV: the storyteller, for example – someone watching the protagonist. With this in mind, I could choose what I want the main focus to be of this section of the book – whether it be SSNAP, the unit, or both – and then use this storyteller technique to write about it, using one of the feature writers as the storyteller and the information and stories taken from the features to create the story.