I want to thank Don from Sideon's Sanctuary. As our Guest Blogger, he was willing to tackle the next subject of narrators. If you remember from the last topic, I mentioned that the narrator is NOT the author's voice. In this topic, Don will explain more of what a narrator does for your story.
I have been reading Don's blog for almost six months now. And, where his writings are concerned, I have serious blog envy. :-)
Identifying the narrator, whom describes any circumstances or events (including any limits placed on their knowledge) he or she is a part of, is identifying a story's point of view. The narrator is the one from whose perspective the story is told.
For example, the author Mark Twain differentiates himself from the main character (and speaker) in the first lines of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:
"You don't know about me, without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but that ain't no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. "
Not every narrator is in the center of a story's action. Some narrators play no active parts in the stories they tell. A narrator's knowledge might range from all-knowing to total ignorance. Following is a rough list of narrator and point of view possibilities.
Narrator Participant (Writing in the First Person)
- a major character
- a minor character
3. all-knowing (seeing into any of the characters)
4. seeing into one major character
5. seeing into one minor character
6. objective (not seeing into any characters)
- Here's a short exercise to help you sense what a difference a point of view makes. Write a short statement (less than 100 words) from the p.o.v. one ONE of these characters: Jean Luc Picard (Star Trek), Gandalf (Lord of the Rings), Buffy (Vampire Slayer), or Jean Grey (Xmen).
- Write a brief (less than 250 words) narrative account of a defining moment in your life from two different and contrasting points of view. Example: buying your first car, told first in first person, and then in 3rd person from the salesman's p.o.v. Another example: meeting a significant other from your point of view and then from their point of view.
- Adopt the p.o.v. of a naive and innocent OR educated and experienced commentator and discuss one topic: a ban on spam (the meat), legalizing prostitution, energy company profits, or a proposed new color for wedding dresses.
Tuesday is the magic writing day. See you then.