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14

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 ...


9

For the sensory input, instead of "you see/feel/smell/touch/taste," try moving the thing to the front of the sentence or phrase to make it the subject. Instead of "You see a shiny red rock," try: A shiny red rock glints in the gravel at the side of the road. This presupposes (rather than stating explicitly) that the reader is looking at the red rock ...


8

Sounds fine to me. The prologue and epilogue are literally before and after the story, so it's fine for them to be formatted differently or have a different POV.


6

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). ...


6

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 ...


6

The narration. I'm thinking of not using the narration at all. Please don't do this. It is very, very hard to understand even when handled by a master. If this is your first book, it will be almost impossible for your readers to follow. My suggestion for you is this: Start a blog, and write short stories, flash fiction, or chapters of your book using ...


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 ...


5

In a sense, this is the whole point to an epilogue --if it had the same feel as the main narrative, it would just be the last chapter. Epilogues exist solely to solve the problem of authors wanting to tell the readers things that don't --for whatever reason --fit into the main framework of the novel (and the same is true for prologues). That doesn't ...


5

If you want the scene to initially be confusing, go ahead! Since it's written in first person, that's just realistic. However, keep it brief. It would probably be rather annoying to try to read through more than a paragraph of stuff that makes no sense, and readers might just want to skip it. Also, to make sure they don't continue to feel confused after ...


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.


4

More detail about why you have this dilemma would help, but I can answer this question in a general sense. I'm assuming you're writing fiction based on the historical setting of World War II Europe. When deciding between first and third person, you need to consider the needs of your story, and decide what information needs to be conveyed to the reader; ...


4

I would have thought that alienation and insanity are much better done using the first person than the third: you see what the character is thinking and feeling. The reader can be the judge of what is rational and what isn't, given the same information the character has. It doesn't mean the character is right. It doesn't mean the reader is right. Tension can ...


3

When writing in first person limited view you are basically writing in the voice of the character. So you should make what they say authentic. Therefore in the right circumstances this is perfectly acceptable. My advice would be to leave it in and write the story that way. Then when it is done you can get a feel for if it "works" in that context. I have ...


3

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 ...


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 ...


3

I think everything is doable, if the reader gets the feeling it is fitting. I see no problem in the approach to have the book in first person and switch to third for the finale.


3

Welcome to the site, Bruce! In this case, describing pain in the first is no different than doing it in the third person. The only difference would be that you would use 'I' rather than third person pronouns. Therefore, what it looks like you're really after is how to describe pain in general. As far as being impaled on re-bar goes... well, I think we ...


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.


2

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. ...


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

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

For the most part an author should try to conform to grammatical conventions as that makes it easier for people to read. However, this isn't a set in stone rule. You are free to violate "proper" grammatical conventions in both first-person and third-person narratives. It is best if you have a decent grasp of the conventions you violate—that knowledge ...


2

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 ...


2

The writing of this passage depends on what you intend to underline; is the character under a lot of stress or would he rather describe the scene factually, as though detached from what he's experiencing ? If the scene intends to underline the horror of the moment, stick as closely as you can to what the character might be thinking/feeling at the time; at ...


2

Use whatever you think will work best for your story. Arthur Conan Doyle wrote all but two or three of the Sherlock Holmes stories in first person, from Watson's perspective, and you see the longevity and popularity of those works. There are benefits and drawbacks of any perspective, but no blanket rules. No one will think it's a problem if all the stories ...


2

This seems like a great idea, and possibly the best way to approach this would be to have the time of disorientation be relatively brief. I've not written dream sequences ever, so I don't have any suggestions beyond making it obvious that it's a dream sequence. Possibly making what is occurring straightforward for the reader, but with signals that it isn't ...



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