There are many different kinds of narration available to us writers. What I am using is obvious enough – First Person. This is a commonly-used method of narration. There is also third person omniscient and close third person omniscient. Both are somewhat self-explanatory. With third person omniscient, the narrator simply knows all and sees all. It is an unbiased narrator that relates what happens and can tell what any given character is thinking or feeling. Close third person is when the narrator speaks from the perspective of one character, usually the main one.

Example: Sally Johnson went to the store to buy milk, though she hated doing it. All Sally wanted to do was sit at home and organize her stamp collection, but her mother had insisted she do this errand first.

Second person narration is also available, though it is extremely tricky and not veryaccommodating. This kind of narration involves a narrator that points out what “you” are doing.

Example: You get home late at night with every intention of going straight to sleep when you notice that your front door is ajar. Panic rises inside of you, and you frantically look around to see if you are truly alone in your own home.

Choosing what kind of narrator you want depends on how much you want to be able to reveal in your story. If you really want to be able to tell the reader what Sally is thinking and what her mom is thinking and what her next door neighbor’s three-year-old is thinking, then third person is for you. Similarly, if you want the story to focus just on Sally, then you need first person or close third. The difference between the two involves narrative voice. Using first person means that the story must be told as if your character were telling the story to one of his/her friends. All of their biases, their nuances, and their humor must go into the narration. Close third person, on the other hand, is more matter-of-fact. The narrator knows what is going on, but is unbiased. Which you use is up to you.

Tense and narrative voice go hand in hand with the kind of narration you choose to use. My next entry will focus on these two aspects.

That’s it for now!

Word of the Day: Evince (v) – to show clearly; make evident or manifest; prove.


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