Questions tagged [narrator]

This tag should be used for questions relating to the usage of a narrator in your own fictional writing.

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36
votes
15answers
13k views

Is it acceptable to use words like “heaven” and “god” when the narrator is agnostic?

The main character, and the person whose viewpoint the story is told from, is a scientist and subscribes to agnosticism. And there are sentences in my story like: "Trees stretched into the sky ...
18
votes
10answers
2k views

Is it possible to narrate a novel in a faux-historical style without alienating the reader?

One thing that often annoys me in historical fiction or fantasy books is the dissonance between the writing style and the events and historical period described in the book. The writing is usually ...
17
votes
6answers
4k views

Should a narrator ever describe things based on a character's view instead of facts?

There is something I find myself doing often while writing, and I don't even know what to call it, but I would like to know if its good practice. It happens when I'm writing from a third-person ...
13
votes
8answers
4k views

What to call a main character who changes names?

I'd like to write a story, in the third-person perspective, centering on a character who changes her name several times in the course of the story. She uses her birth name for the first couple of ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Everyone is beautiful

I've noticed a quirk with the narrator voice of one of the two novels I'm working on. This narrator only describes the beautiful aspects of every character's features. You might think the women are ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it bad style if the personal first person narrator of a story dies during said story?

Right now I'm writing a novel in which I use the changing perspectives of two main characters with limited information each to slowly unveil the whole plot to the reader. Both use the past tense and ...
10
votes
5answers
910 views

What should the omniscient narrator call a character?

Let there be a character. Let the character's name be, for example, Alexander. Now, Alexander's parents call him 'Sasha'. His friends call him 'Xander'. His girlfriend calls him 'Alex'. In formal ...
9
votes
3answers
142 views

Alternatives to Second-Person POV Narration

I am someone with no formal writing background, who has come to love writing for the fantasy adventure role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons (fifth edition) during my free time. I am currently ...
8
votes
3answers
392 views

Naming things the POV character doesn't know

My middle-grade novel is third person with one primary and one secondary viewpoint character. Sometimes the narrator hovers a bit more, sometimes the narrator is more in the character's head. The ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

Changing narrators

Is it ever a good idea to change narrators in a short story? In one of my short stories, the narration starts in third person 'eye of god' mode. Then it moves to each character - there are only two ...
7
votes
2answers
490 views

What are ways to shade the narrator in alternating chapters of dual POV?

I've heard advice that in an alternating third person limited POV, the narration alone should be enough to seat the reader within the POV. I like this concept. What are some concrete ways in which ...
7
votes
3answers
951 views

How To Write An Unreliable Narrator?

So in my latest works I've decided to make my narrator, whom is my main character as well, pretty unreliable. How do I get this across to readers? I read a few short stories online that were pretty ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Describing the taste of food

I’m asking about this not because I have a tendency to do so myself, but rather because I find it unusually aggravating when I come across it in other people’s works. I’m wondering if this sort of ...
6
votes
6answers
5k views

Switching from past to present tense to increase narrative speed?

In German, traditionally narrative texts are written in the past tense. When the pace of the action picks up, the narrator can increase immediacy and urgency by switching into the present tense. Is ...
6
votes
5answers
647 views

Should the narrator use pseudonyms in writing?

I have characters who have to use false names. Should the narrator use their real name or false name? For example, if person A was being called Adam when their real name was Archie, person B would ...
6
votes
1answer
147 views

What is the technique of displaying stream of thought in third person?

I've noticed that authors often show the main character's though process in third person using the prose itself, almost as if the character were the one narrating. Made-up-on-the-spot example: ...
6
votes
4answers
108 views

In one book can one narrator be in present and the other in past?

I'm currently planning a book series that is told from the first person perspective of 5 different characters. I have a different voice for all of the characters, but I think that 2 of the characters ...
5
votes
4answers
248 views

Can my characters interact with my narrator? (and vice versa)

I know that this idea is not totally 'revolutionary' as this type of narration has been used in Breakfast of champions, for example. But, Unlike Vonnegut, I want the 'Narrator talks to the characters ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between limited third-person narrative and free indirect discourse?

Free indirect discourse is a writing technique that makes the writing display the character's thoughts whilst still remaining in third-person narrative, with 'he' or 'she' as pronouns. As an example, ...
5
votes
1answer
105 views

Distinguishing between unreliable frame narrator and narrator of framed story

I'm writing a work which is bookended by a frame story with an unreliable narrator. How do I prevent confusion for the reader when the frame narrator interjects? In the framed story, the characters ...
4
votes
4answers
109 views

1st person addressing a narrator

I'm writing a story in first person, but with a third person narrator for the secondary character. I was wondering if there were any books or stories to research how the first person character could ...
4
votes
3answers
486 views

Effectively conveying an unreliable narrator

I have been working on a post-apocalyptic novel for about a year. My female narrator/protagonist, named Eris, was isolated for almost all of her life until meeting a rogue group of survivors and ...
4
votes
3answers
543 views

What do you call a narrator who is not unreliable, but is naive?

While an unreliable narrator is someone who is deceiving the reader (or possibly himself), there are plenty of stories where the narrator is truthfully relaying what happened, but does not fully ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

Tech-limited metaphors?

In my native language, we sometimes use the expression "to be shot by (Someone)'s eyes", meaning that Someone is staring at you very intently and in an examining, measuring manner, most often trying ...
4
votes
2answers
372 views

Can a third-person narrator ask questions instead of the characters?

In novels, when the PoV follows a particular character, is pretty common that we get to hear his/her thoughts. Sometimes, those thoughts take the form of questions that the character ask himself: ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

How does the narrator address a character who has changed her name, but only some people call her this new name?

I know this is similar to How to Handle a Character When She Is Lying About Her Name but the situation is slightly different in where my problem lies. I have a character who is introduced as Tabatha ...
4
votes
1answer
160 views

How can I hint at biases in a fictional first person account?

In the story that I'm preparing to write, the main character is involved in many tense encounters and begins to develop a slightly warped world view while losing bits and pieces of his morality. I ...
3
votes
5answers
837 views

What are the advantages and disadvantages to leaving the narrator unnamed?

As I begin to write a narrative (I haven't decided yet how long it should be), and as I develop the plot, I was wondering whether or not I should give the narrator a name. It was one of those random ...
3
votes
2answers
203 views

In third-person limited POV, what can be described?

In 3rd person limited, when the protagonist is present in a scene, can the narrator describe something in a scene that the protagonist cannot see?
3
votes
2answers
228 views

Third person into first person as the protagonist becomes the same entity as the narrator

I'm attempting to write a sci-fi novel in a dystopian future baring semblance to that within 1984. I'm using third person to describe what the protagonist sees, what he feels and what he thinks, ...
3
votes
5answers
72 views

Should I change from past to present tense to state a fact that continues into the present and is unyielding?

Within narration in past tense, should a statement of a universally true fact be in past tense or in present tense? For example, in the short text: It was late afternoon in Zubrin. The air was ...
3
votes
2answers
143 views

How do readers/writers alike feel about too much narration in a story?

My question is pretty much summed up in the title. My story includes a lot of narration. Narrating events, narrating character's thoughts. There are several intervals in each chapter where the ...
3
votes
4answers
936 views

Switching perspectives for a single chapter in a first person POV novel, to do or not to do?

Allow me to explain what prompted the question before you immediately say that it's not okay and it would confuse the readers. The protagonist of the novel - also the narrator - has the ability to ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What effect does the gender of the narrator have on a story?

I am reading this book, and a little girl is narrating the story. It was a new experience for me, since I am seeing the world through the eyes of a 12 year old girl. Other than the point of view of ...
2
votes
4answers
791 views

Point of view, narrative voice, and when to name a character in narration

Let's say you have a scene with Maria, written in third person from Maria's point of view. Then you have a scene with Akash, written in third person from Akash's point of view - and suppose they do ...
2
votes
3answers
415 views

In first person narrative, is it acceptable to end rhetorical questions with a period?

In first person narrative, would it be acceptable to use a period in place of a question mark when the narrator is asking a rhetorical question? example: My car broke down again. Why does this always ...
2
votes
3answers
200 views

What is it called when the reader is the focal point?

Here is an example of what I mean in present-tense (though narrative time is irrelevant): You walk into the empty room, you should be worrying about what's about to happen but instead your mind is ...
2
votes
3answers
163 views

How to describe a horse from the POV of someone who has never seen one? [closed]

In my story, my narrator has only recently met other humans and the biggest creature she has ever interacted with are dogs. In the survivors' camp, she encounters their horses and is pretty freaked ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

Can there be written narratives (not movies or films, but books) without any narrator?

Would it be possible? It strikes me as impossible but I am still curious to know what you think.
2
votes
3answers
264 views

Is there a way to make all characters to be chameleon's archetype?

I've made another question which is an attempt to make all the characters be chameleons. What chameleons are?, in case you dont know, chameleons are characters that the main character / reader is not ...
2
votes
2answers
215 views

How to present a human protagonist from a narrator who does not know what a human is?

My protagonist is an average human as we know it in a world populated by different animal-like species. The narrator (different character) is a member of a species that resemble polar bears. As far as ...
2
votes
1answer
235 views

Writing a narrator with a different character to the author

Many authors use a narrator with a similar character across several books - to the extent that it resembles a brand identity. Others have used different narration characters for different books (Ian ...
2
votes
3answers
70 views

Could I have some characters reveal more internal monologue than others?

For context, I am writing a graphic novel. I always used to imagine I would have some characters (mainly protagonists) reveal their internal monologue while others (mainly the antagonists) don't. They ...
2
votes
3answers
101 views

Multiple First Person Narrators: how should I differentiate?

I am writing a novel (it will eventually be a series of five novels) and there are multiple first-person narrators. Each chapter starts of with the character's name in parentheses after the chapter ...
2
votes
2answers
151 views

How much uncertainity will the 'general (Non-YA) fantasy reader' tolerate?

In my current project my goal is to go for the following narrative style within scenes: Show only what the POV-Char can see, hear,... sense. Show their emotional reaction (through body-feelings, ...
1
vote
3answers
161 views

Is the MC in first person singular always all knowing?

While writing a first-person singular novel, is the MC all-knowing? How do we handle plots which do not include the MC, like something happening with others but not including MC? Will it be taken as ...
1
vote
2answers
793 views

What is Third Person Dramatic?

Often told as "Third Person Objective" or "Third Person Camera" it is some kind of mixture between cinema and writing. (Crazy stuff, I know.) What is this Third Person Dramatic? What are his pros and ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

Using the Voice wisely

Of course, there aren't any rules in writing. But when something is used in exaggeration (or even Isn't used at all!) without prudence, it can ruins everything. A voice is like a guide to see the ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

First person narrative - pros and cons

I'm writing a novel where my original idea was to use first person narrative in most chapters, since the story focuses on the main character's thoughts/feelings/mental issues. I planned to use third ...
1
vote
4answers
249 views

Explanatory narrative in fiction

For a little homework, I have a good story, but its not a story that can be told by letting it unfold and writing the events that happened. What I want to do, is tell a story of events in the past ...