POSTCARDS FROM THE MUSE
By Nandy Ekle
Narration. To tell a story. This is the writer speaking to the reader. It’s like a one-person play.
And this is where a writer’s voice comes in. The voice is the writer’s uniqueness, the choice of words, the rhythm of the words, more dialogue or less dialogue. Some writers are excellent at very detailed description, others just give you a general idea and let you figure it out. But each one is different.
One idea of narration is to write in such a way that the narration is nearly invisible. This can make a great story because the characters are the ones telling the story.
But I think one of my favorite methods is when the narrator adds flavor. If you ever read The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, you’ve seen this work. The characters are indeed telling the story, but the narrator adds his bits of information, sort of like Adam talked about in his blog. Stephen King also used this method in The Eyes of the Dragon, and Lemony Snicket used it in A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Using this type of narration adds flavor without getting in the way of what the characters are up to. It can also add a little humor. And there are times when I read a story written in this way that I almost feel the writer in the room with me.
Your assignment is to read a few pages of your favorite book. Pay attention to all the words of the story that are not dialogue or action.