Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

13

There are a few ways to solve this: 1) Switch narrators. Everything is told by your main character until his/her death, at which point some other character finishes the story. 2) Your narrator continues narrating from after death in some supernatural fashion. Your narrator could become a ghost or spirit, wander disembodied, communicate through Ouija ...


5

If you want to be cool and scientific, explaining a process, do it in third person. "The subject is, the subject feels". This is the professional mode, very impartial but neither the easies to write nor the easiest to understand. If that's a colleague though, feel free to use whatever you feel like, First person, second, third, first introducing the actors: ...


5

You're making the time shift too casual, too non-committing. That's a major jump granting a new section or at the very least a new paragraph. You can't just go by with a single clause of a longer sentence. Lauren is quite right when making it stand out with italics, but if you want to avoid formatting it that way or think it disrupts the flow, you can fit ...


4

Directly addressing the reader(s) -- both in singular and plural -- is a device that was very common in seventeenth to nineteenth century literature. It has fallen a bit out of use today, but is by no means uncommon. Usually, if a narrator (who is not the author) addresses the reader, there is some kind of framing narrative that explains who the narrator is ...


4

You're mixing up the terms. There is the protagonist, and there is the narrator. Narration has perspective. The narrator is the voice in which the book is told. If the story is told using "he/she/they" and not "I," it's third-person. This narrative voice (perspective) can see into everyone's thoughts (omniscient) or only one person's thoughts (limited). ...


4

I've read at least one book which successfully did this; the author just titled each chapter "Bruno" and "Melusine," depending on whose perspective it was. The timeline was mostly chronological, although there was some overlap so we see how one felt about the other's actions. It worked perfectly fine for me. It's not subterfuge. Label each chapter, throw in ...


4

Try this: San Francisco is just coming to life. I can see all of downtown from my hotel room. Ten stories below, the traffic is backed up on Powell Street. ... etc. ... etc. Two weeks earlier I am sitting in a bar in New Orleans. The bartender asks me etc. etc. The italics on their own line become a timestamp rather than part of the sentence.


3

You can accomplish what you want with a single punctuation change, comma to colon: Two weeks earlier: I am sitting in a bar in New Orleans . . .


3

I much preferred reading the first-person excerpt, but that doesn't mean much when taken out of context like this. There's no simple answer here. First person has certain advantages, third person has other ones. Which you use depends on the story. Can you tell us more about the larger work? Is it a personal story, or is it a grand, uber-epic tale? Are there ...


2

Both are fine - which to use depends on your goal. It shifts focus. Past tense focuses on the fact it was nothing new at that time. It began much earlier and lasted at least until then. For me it's a tone of excuse and explanation, "I couldn't have done anything about that by then". Also, it tells nothing about whether the protagonist fought it down until ...


2

Like this: No matter whether it is a good book, I will not read it. Whether it is a good book or not, I will not read it.


2

Charles Stross' Rule 34 does this, but the book is fully 2nd person. That means that you are the characters. Some say the Internet is for porn but you know that in truth the Internet is for spam. Rule 34 by Charles Stross As @DanBron Said, it can be done, but it's a huge challenge to pull off. One thing that's worth noting though is that there ...


2

Perhaps your character can tell the story while being in heaven (or hell) like in The Lovely Bones? (This won't work of course if your character is an atheist).


2

I think this is a terrific, creative idea, but you have to be very skillful to pull it off. I agree that each character has to be rendered very distinctively. Ken Kesey did something like this on his novel Sometimes a Great Notion which is a wonderful family saga where different points of view are distinguished by italics and normal fonts.


1

The rule of writing states "Don't break the fourth wall". That means don't remind the reader they are the reader, they read a book, the characters are in a book. Immersion is a volatile thing and worth fighting for - if the reader forgets the world around them and the book they hold in hand, but just lives and feels together with the protagonist, in the ...


1

Is it usual? No. Can you do this? Of course. The question is not, Is there some rule against it in the Laws of Writing that All Authors Must Obey Under Pain of Death? The question is, Is it effective? Any time you do something unusual, there is the danger that it will come across as a gimmick. If you do something unusual just to do something unusual, odds ...


1

The second sentence does not feel to be grammatically correct. The second sentence should be "Whether it is a good book or not, I will not read it". It can be even made simple by writing "Even if it is a good book, I will not read it."


1

The second is probably grammatically correct, but it doesn't feel right to me somehow. I'm not sure why. I want an "or not" in there somewhere.


1

In my opinion, the present tense sounds better. When I read it in present, I feel the narrator is describing himself. However, when I read the second one, I have the feeling that all those sentences occur only in that certain moment. Not as a "habit" or "this is me".


1

If you need a great example of this, read As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. Each chapter was told from a different 1st person POV character, and the chapters were labeled with just the character's name. The voices are very distinctive, and after awhile, I didn't need to read the chapter title to know who was narrating that chapter.


1

As lonehorseend said, it's important to make sure characters seem different - but adding the character's names is very important. Case in point - go read some of the I Am Number Four novels, particular the second and third novels. They swap (in third person) to different characters, without even using asterisks as breaks. It's nearly impossible to determine ...


1

I had this question a while ago and I guess there are 2 good ways to do it. 1) In [insert very popular YA book here], the [number] book of the series is written in 2 POV's, unlike the rest of the series. So when [main character that I was actually glad died b/c I was trying to prove a point to my friend] died, the other character narrated. 2) Newspaper ...


1

I see two problems. First, if the person died, how did the story come to be set down in writing? This is a problem whether the story continues after the narrator's death or not. Some readers will accept this; others will not. The second problem is the use of only an epilogue. Readers often feel swindled if a new POV suddenly appears after the MC dies. ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible