Here’s a twist on narrative point-of-view that most authors seem to let slip through the cracks. We all talk about who the narrator is. But who is she talking to? Who is that narrator’s audience? I’m not asking about the writer’s audience, which might be different than the narrator’s audience. The writer is obviously writing […]
There’s one more post I wanted to do in this series on narrative mode, to write and rewrite a short snippet in a number of different narrative modes, just to show how each would turn out. This is not an exhaustive list, because when you combine all the different possible narrative persons with all the […]
This is the third part in my series on narrative mode. I wrote about narrative voice briefly some months ago, in the context of narrative mode. To review, narrative mode has three components: Person – First (“I”), second (“you”), or third (“he”). Tense – Past, present, or future. Voice – Objective, Limited, or Omniscient (I’ll […]
Picking the right person… No, this is not about dating. This is about narrative person, which I wrote about briefly in the context of narrative mode. I mentioned a few narrative modes and how they were used by their authors. To review, narrative mode has three components: Person – First (“I”), second (“you”), or third […]
What to do with tense? I wrote about this briefly a few months ago, in the context of narrative mode, and I mentioned a few narrative modes and how they were used by their authors. But how do you pick a tense to use? To review, narrative mode has three components: Person – First (“I”), […]
Sometimes writers talk about what “tense” they’re writing in: third-person past, first-person present, or whatever. This is actually called “narrative mode,” not just tense. The tense is the past, present, or future part of the narrative mode. And the narrative mode encompasses more than just person and tense.
Remember when I read Spellbound by Nora Roberts? One of the things that threw me was that she wafted from character to character. Orson Scott Card in Characters & Viewpoint gives an example of this that actually works. Unfortunately, he doesn’t tell us why it works. Maybe we can propose a theory.