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8

The bits you put in parentheses don't (necessarily) take me out of the narrative. They are the character's opinions of people and events. That takes me deeper into the character, which is a big part of where the story is. One test for such parentheticals is: Do these opinions characterize the character in a way that serves the story? As Lauren points out, ...


5

I read a book on Creative Writing before that suggested that if you describe an acquaintance of the protagonist as beautiful, then they will (in the reader's mind) automatically become the protagonists love interest. Discriminations aside, if the protagonist does certain things, or you describe certain things, it does give readers some preconceptions about ...


5

I also questioned the validity of the internal "lecturing" monologue, but much to my surprise, people often said this was their favourite part of the story. When I added other monologues to my other stories, they once again became the highlight of the story for a few people. John Green does this a lot too. In an Abundance of Katherines, the vast majority of ...


4

Honestly, I can't tell if the narrator is supposed to be male or female, but I do kind of get the feeling that the author is probably male — especially if the narrator is supposed to be female. (And yes, I got that impression even before looking at your name and profile picture.) OK, let me unpack that a bit. In the first paragraph, what stand out ...


4

The reason you think it's obvious is that you assume that only a woman would be having a romantic dinner with a man. Your baseline assumption is that everyone is straight. There is absolutely nothing in the text which precludes the narrator from being a gay or bi man having a romantic dinner with another gay or bi man. If you want to assert her gender, you ...


4

In short amounts, as you've done above, such "lecturing" is okay in first person. You're really not lecturing the reader so much as showing the narrator's state of mind. The trick is to ensure that these statements (also known as interior monologues) don't become long rants that are authorial intrusions and slow the forward movement of the plot.


3

I think you’re coming at this problem from the wrong premise. Your female narrator does not need to drop hints about her gender in every third paragraph. Think about your own life: do you spend every waking minute conscious of your gender (“I am a man and I am eating this sandwich in a manly way, tearing the bread and smoked turkey with my sharp teeth”)? ...


2

In first person, this is fine. The lecturing is coming from the MC. In third person, I think it depends on who is the narrator. Lecturing from an omniscient narrator would be bad, IMHO, unless it were very clever lecturing. But that is possible. Consider the opening line from Austen's "Pride and Prejudice": It is a truth universally acknowledged, ...


2

I think the passages in Italics are perfectly fine; since the narrative is first-person, you are showing that person's inner life and motivation. Personally I would put more exposition, ie the stuff in regular font, between the thoughts.


2

These are tightly connected. POV (Point of View) tells about the person, "through whose eyes we look". "Perspective" is the name for that style of view. An autobiography will be written from the author's POV, in 1st person perspective - or from POV of some protagonist. A guide will be written in 2nd person, from the reader's POV. 3rd person will be just 3rd ...


2

While it is true that nothing you wrote specifically says it is a female narrator, I do think that the perception is of one, due to the attention to small details of a flower, and the inner dialogue about emotions. I'm not saying that it HAS to be a female, but I would think it was based on that, and I also e-mailed the snippet to a couple of others who ...


2

mostly no. Overall the three paragraphs read without significant gender hints. the third paragraph might hint a little bit of feminine characteristics, but only in context (in this case the title of your question). On the other hand there are also no significant male hints either. What you have written could be used for male, female, neuter, or undisclosed ...


2

I think you question the utility of these passages because they stick out. This time you saw them as lecturing. Of course, "lecturing" differs from delivering a good lecture. Lecturing is boring. A teen feels an adult is lecturing when they make a point that is not relevant. That may be what is happening here. In paragraph 1, you bring up the origin of ...


2

I think the gender and sexual ambiguity only makes this story that much more compelling. I've written similarly vague characters in the past and consider it not only more difficult to hide a character's gender throughout the narrative but also a pretty big compliment. You can even use this technique to conduct your own mini-experiment of people's perceptions ...


2

I don't think you should make the gender more obvious unless it needs to be more obvious. By choosing a 1st person narration the character uncovers him/herself and the logic should flow from how you have conceived this character to express themselves. Is gender really a duality anyway? Men and women express their gender in such a variety of ways that you ...


1

The transition seems fairly smooth to me, probably because the action doesn't feel like action: It feels like the continuation of the musings in the earlier paragraphs. Maybe this is because we're not seeing the setup, but I think the entire excerpt feels rushed. This is someone who's thinking through reasons why life just doesn't make sense, but I'm not ...


1

I strongly disagree with SF's answer. 1) There is fictional 2nd person narrative. It's rare, but it exists. An example is given on the Wikipedia page to 2nd person narrative: You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning. But here you are, and you cannot say that the terrain is entirely unfamiliar, although ...



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