Would it be possible? It strikes me as impossible but I am still curious to know what you think.

  • 1
    Hi Vaishu! Welcome to Writing.SE! Please take a look at our tour and help center pages, you might find them helpful. Generally, "I'm curious to know what you think" questions would be off topic here, as too opinion-based. We are looking for questions that could, at least potentially, have one or two "correct" answers, not an infinite number of opinions. Your question - it might be of the "one answer" variety. Let's see what the community thinks. Oct 14 '18 at 16:45

A story is a narrative - an account of connected events. Somebody is giving that account - there's no avoiding that. There you've got your narrator. Even a newspaper, which seeks to make the journalist impartial and transparent, there's still the person reporting on what happened, recounting it, narrating it. Even dialogue: the moment there's "Alice said", "Bob replied", it's the narrator telling you who said what.

Now, what happens if there's only the dialogue, no narration in between? Then you've got a play. To be fair, I've read significantly more plays than I've seen, but that doesn't turn a play into a novel.

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    I guess the question is whether a play is a "narrative".
    – wetcircuit
    Oct 14 '18 at 17:52
  • +1, but wouldn't stage or voice direction in a play count as narrative? Like the character labels on dialogue: "DAVID (pleading)" carries the sense of "David said the following, in a pleading manner." Or stage direction: "ALICE grabs CINDY's elbow and holds her forefinger to her lips, be quiet, then pulls her down, pointing under the bed. The two girls crawl beneath it. DAVID enters the room frantic, sees nothing and leaves."
    – Amadeus
    Oct 15 '18 at 11:01

Not really, even if the narrator is completely invisible to the reader, and not actually a person, as in a third person omniscient narrative, there is still a viewpoint from which the story is told. That viewpoint is still the narrator regardless of its material existence or its (non)existence within the narrative it is relating. Furthermore people will tend to anthropomorphise that viewpoint anyway, for example I just had to rewrite that whole second sentence with "it" instead of "they".

  • 3
    +1. The narrator, even if third-person omniscient, is a necessary component of fiction. It's like asking if a film can be shot without a camera. Oct 14 '18 at 17:41

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