Who’s Speaking: Choosing A Narrator’s Voice

January 10, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Writing and Speaking

Have you thought about the narrator’s voice? When it comes to the narrator in your novel, have you decided to make them neutral? Many writers believe that the narrator should have little in the way of identity and the use of a narrator is essentially a necessary means of moving the story from one scene to the next.

The narrator should have a distinctive voice. Taking the reader on a tour of your story is not the only job of the narrator.

Voice is the technique used to add life to your narrator. How you ultimately choose to define the character of your narrator can add a new dimension to your work. You can add a unique personality to your narrator so that your reader can visualize the story through the eyes of someone they find intriguing. The voice you choose would help the reader find a new facet of interest in your story even though they may not particularly like the narrator.

If the narrator has a strained relationship with the main character, then occasionally they might make negative comments as the story unfolds. As the story unfolds, the reason for the animosity could be resolved and explained.

The Disney movie “Emperor’s New Groove” was narrated by the main character who interjected humor, sarcasm and arrogance that allowed the viewer to gain a clearer picture of the primary character, the conflict his actions created, and the ultimate need for him to lose some of his pride. Because of the narrator’s voice, the viewer enjoyed the character of the Emperor even more.

In western fiction the narrator often provides range-hardened wisdom during the course of the narrative that leaves you feeling as if you’ve saddled up a horse and are paired up an agreeable partner that has much to teach you.

The narrators portrayed in some writings are distant and formal in their story telling. The writer in this case doesn’t want the narrator to play a significant role in the storyline and their goal is to just fill in the blanks with no personality showing through.

Determining the voice of your narrator can be an important element in the development of your story. Choosing the ‘voice’ of your narrator may be best achieved early in the story-writing process to avoid needless rewriting.

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