Six Tips on Narrative Voice

  • Writing in the First Person is harder than it looks: the narrator defines the sort of story you write. Compare the way the intelligent Katiniss Everdeen tells her story in The Hunger Games with that of the much less aware Riddley Walker in the novel of the same name.
  • There are very few stories written in the Second Person, something which makes those few attempted stand out and say something. Unfortunately, the thing they are usually saying is that the writer has just been on a course.  Best avoided.
  • Stories written in the Third Person offer the most flexibility, and are the best choice for the beginner writer. Of these…
  • The Third Person subjective is the easiest: here you can describe individual characters’ thoughts and emotions from the inside.
  • Third Person objective is harder: here you describe the characters from the outside, you’re not privy to their thoughts – rather like watching a film.
  • Third Person omniscient is the easiest but seems very old fashioned and lacking in skill. Most importantly, Editors don’t like it!

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