​I am currently writing a short story, and I am considering using two different first-person narrators in two different timelines. The two timelines will be clearly marked by headings stating the date and locations of the scenes in question. However, there is a risk that the reader will see "I" in both sections and assume that both narrators/characters are the same person unless I clarify the matter very carefully when introducing them.

I am looking for tips on doing this effectively. Has anyone tried this before? How can I prevent confusion tween the two narrators?

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    Welcome to Writers! While you're waiting for an answer, you could explore questions within the viewpoint tag. There are several that might be relevant to your question. Jul 18, 2017 at 14:27
  • Don't switch between the narrators in the same scene. Jul 19, 2017 at 7:43

1 Answer 1


It is a common technique and can be very effective. You just need to work out why you are using two narrators instead of one and decide exactly what information each one is going to reveal (or conceal) to the reader.

In my opinion, this technique works best when the narrators are very different from each other, and the reader can easily tell which is which by what they say and how they say it. Some authors give the name of the narrator at the beginning of the chapter. Some use a different font. It needs to be very clear who is speaking or it can be very annoying for the reader.

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