For my first story, which I will start over the next few days, I will use the relationship of the woman that used to live downstairs as source material. These are the pieces of her life, while she was living below me:
- He shouted at her a fair bit. He beat her up occasionally, to the point where it got pretty bad and she fled the house (moving out within a few hours one day, without telling him where she went, so as to escape. She even left the cat when it didn’t come immediately when she called it – left it straying outside, asking the neighbours to look after it).
- I found out later that he was back in her life, and her new flat – she had let him back in.
- Her 12-year-old daughter still wets the bed.
I think I can use the above material (hopefully) without offending anyone, since the woman moved away over a year ago and the above events are in the past. I wouldn’t want to write about events of the week-end, or the time a couple of months ago when a neighbour across wielded a knife while drunk and was taken to the police station, to spend a night in jail.
I’ll need to think about the tone of voice, and how to narrate – from whose point of view. It could be either from my POV as observer, or the daughter’s point of view (who wets the bed), or, maybe, from the abuser’s POV. The latter might be the most interesting, even though I know the least about it. That might be a good challenge however, and a useful means to create in fiction I know nothing about.