Thursday 14 May 2020

Changing narrative voice

These are the narrative voices you may choose:

First person

·         Very intimate relationship between reader and character or reader and author.
·         Only tells one story at a time.
·         May be main character, author or fictionalised author 
·         Allows some discussion of the story.
·         Character has had the growth and reader cannot have growth with the character.

Third person

Close third person
·         More intimate even than first
·         Reader can experience growth with protagonist
Removed third person.
·         Gives author a stronger voice.
·         Allows points of view to shift

Second person

This can feel very intrusive to the reader but can also be very strong.  

Omniscient author

·         Allows a commentary from the author
·         Allows changes of point of view
·         Allows different scenes with different people, a little like in a play

Story teller

·         Tells more than shows 
·         Tends not to moralise
·         Is more engaging as a performance

Changing narrative voice 1

Rewrite the opening lines of a story you like in a different person e.g. if it is written in first person, change it to third or even second.


Changing narrative voice 2

Now write another part of the story from another character’s point of view. Perhaps take a minor character or even the “enemy”.


Changing narrative voice 3

Write a personal first person narrative; it is really you telling this story.
Now write the same narrative, still first person, as if you were a different person.

Changing narrative voice 4

Take one paragraph from a story you are writing and do a “patch test”.  Try it out with different persons and different tenses (past, present, future). Use at least three different combinations. Which works best? Try to get into the habit of using this “patch test” in all of your writing. Ask a writing buddy for their opinion.       

Image by CSTRSK from Pixabay 

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