Sunday, April 1, 2012

Narrators and Fiction Writing

I’ve been heads down the last few weeks working on my new story. It’s 90% complete and as I read it, out loud, I’m proud to say I’ve incorporated many of the lessoned learned. I can actually hear the head hopping and find those split commas.
This read through, one of many, I concentrated on smoothing out the narration. As I went from scene to scene, I started to think about the importance of the narrator.  
Narration is needed to set the scene, explain the environment, the character’s appearance and action.  I read a blog this week about narrators by Denise Shekerjian. Denise’s blog, Soul of a Word, has a lot of great hints and helpful information for writers. This week’s offering: How to Write a Compelling Narrator
Denise offers five key items about creating compelling narrators:
  1. The narrator is as complicated as the characters.
  2. The narrator has his own attitude.
  3. The narrator must have a consistent voice.
  4. The narrator must elicit reader compassion.
  5. The reader must trust the narrator.
When I looked at these key items I began to see the narrator as a key character.
I did a bit more research and found another great site, Study Guides and Strategies.  The information on narrators here talked about the different POVs. They are the same as POV characters, first person, second person, third person and omniscient.
The Fiction Writer’s Mentor had an article about the unreliable narrator. Here the narrator, first person POV only please, is ‘allowed’ to misinform. Third person narrators are supposed to be absolutely factual. The unreliable narrator strategy has to be used judiciously. There are three types of unreliable narrators:
  1. Deliberately lying.
  2. She thinks she is telling the truth.
  3. The narrator genuinely thinks she is telling the truth but the reader knows she is wrong.

What type of narrator strategy do you use?

No comments:

Post a Comment