Monday, December 5, 2016

Narrative and Viewpoint

"Keeping the Reader Reading," Part 8

Narrative is the prose in a story as opposed to the dialogue. It tells the reader what is happening and gives her images to visualize what is happening. It also tells her even more about the viewpoint character because what is seen and how it is described tells as much about the character as the dialogue.

One character might see a plane crash scene and visualize it like this--

The plane's pieces were scattered over the valley like clothes dropped by a drunk on the way to bed.

Another character who is more analytical would think--

The gouge of earth left by the plane's moving fuselage led him to a boulder. The left wing tip lay against it. The furrow veered violently left there, and bits of wing then fuselage littered the area around it. When there was nothing left of the plane to break apart, the gouge ended.

Narrative is one of the most important tools you have to hook the reader.  Make it visual and use the senses, and make it reflect the viewpoint character which will make both the setting, action, and the character more real to the reader.  

No comments: