Narrative is a highly aesthetic art. Thoughtfully composed stories have a number of aesthetic elements. Such elements include the idea of , with identifiable beginnings, middles and ends, or exposition-development-climax-denouement, with coherent plot lines; a strong focus on temporality including retention of the past, attention to present action and protention/future anticipation; a substantial focus on character and characterization, "arguably the most important single component of the novel" ( 67); different voices interacting, "the sound of the human voice, or many voices, speaking in a variety of accents, rhythms and registers" (Lodge 97; see also the theory of for expansion of this idea); a narrator or narrator-like voice, which "addresses" and "interacts with" reading audiences (see theory); communicates with a -esque rhetorical thrust, a dialectic process of interpretation, which is at times beneath the surface, forming a plotted narrative, and at other times much more visible, "arguing" for and against various positions; relies substantially on the use of literary tropes (see , for expansion of this idea); is often intertextual with other literatures; and commonly demonstrates an effort toward , a description of identity development with an effort to evince in character and community.
Unless a story is written from someone's point of view there is no story. Within literature, two commonly used viewpoints are First person and Third person limited. First person is where the narrator is a character in the story; and Third person limited is told from a character's perspective. A writer will choose the point of view that they believe will best convey their message. At the heart of that choice is their choice of narrator or narrative voice. So when we talk of narrative voice, what we really mean is the view point of the person telling the story. The narrative voice that emerges from a text, engages the reader by giving them information. The information allows us to construct meaning as we read. The voice controls the information we receive at each and every stage of the story. The information we get may create a better understanding of a particular character or characters, which may enable us amongst other things to like or dislike them.
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Except that I am not Jerome Morrow. ” This quote was shocking, in the film, as we had been listening to Vincent describe Jerome and his success in being selected as part of the mission team flying to Titan and were not expecting to hear that this is not our narrator. The voice over in this scene was used as a device to create intrigue and hook in the audience. Saying that our narrator was not Jerome Morrow created confusion and viewers were then interested in seeing who our narrator and Jerome Morrow are.
The cover illustration is of Diego Valazquez's Las Hilanderas and is a perfect illustration of the trope of ekphrasis which Wilson traces through each chapter: Narrative, Conventions, Voice, World, Character and Boundaries. Ekphrasis is "the verbal description of a work of fine art"(35) and is commonly used by Renaissance writers, notably by Spenser, Cervantes and Shakespeare as Wilson shows. The complexity and playfulness that result in having a character in the work look at a painting or tapestry allowing the rudiments of that story, likely known and thus available for imaginative amplification, planted in the awareness of the character as well as the reader were thrilling discoveries for me and just one example of the value of reading this very fine book.
When you've got an idea for a story, a few characters, an idea of the plot maybe, you have to figure out who is going to tell it. This is where point of view comes in. The point of view in fiction determines whose eyes the reader experiences the story through. It can be a key choice, as different points of view have different strengths and weaknesses. Narrative voice is a related topic to think about, and especially important in third person stories. First person narratives already have a narrator built in; the narrative voice is the teller's voice. But how do you tell a third person narrative? This part of the Beginner's Guide to Writing Fiction will explore these topics.To anyone who may read this, I remain as firm now in my belief that a narrative style less tons of dialogue is a good thing. Every writer has their own approach; their own voice; their own method. And to those that would dismiss the narrative style with limited use of dialogue as being a substandard vehicle to story telling, well I would just plain and simple have to say that—my friend you are misinformed. Many successful authors, including Fredrick Forsyth have produced many best sellers using this style of writing.