Narrative Voice

Hey, I’m back. This’ll be a short entry because I’m just focusing on Narrative Voice today.

If your narrator is a character in the story, then the whole book has to fit their personality, their speech, their mannerisms, etc. For example, if your narrator is a fifteen-year-old girl, she will probably not say, “I perambulated most leisurely towards my destination, which was the marketplace. It was in my head to purchase some milk there and mayhaps some butter.” Unless she’s a fifteen-year-old girl in England from like, 200 years ago, that’s probably not going to fly. It probably wouldn’t even fly if she were a girl from England 200 years ago. Similarly, if your narrator is a heterosexual teenage boy, he’s probably not going to say, “I just love hanging with my best friend. He’s a really great guy and I feel like he really gets me.” I’m sorry to say this, but the typical teenage boy of the heterosexual variety just doesn’t talk or think like that.

Here’s a word for you: Verisimilitude. It means “like real life.” Your narration has to be believable. One way to keep your reader interested is to make them feel like they really are hearing this story from someone real, someone their age who has had these experiences. That doesn’t work if your narration isn’t verisimilar.

There’s a little more leeway for you if your narrator is of the third-person variety. They don’t have to display any nuances or idiosyncrasies because they are usually more objective and matter-of-fact about telling the story in the first place.

That’s all for now!

Word of the Day: Inkling (n) – a slight suggestion or indication; hint; intimation


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