Narration

Advice and thoughts on narrating to best effect.

Varieties of Omniscience

Using an omniscient narrator? It may help to be aware of these two dimensions, which account for the varieties of omniscient approaches.

Exposition in Dialogue

You can deliver exposition via dialogue, but you have to finesse it a little. Here we discuss how you can disguise exposition so it doesn’t feel contrived.

Earning Story Events

Earning story events means paying attention to three types of context (deep, situational, and immediate) as well as giving the character time to arrive at a response.

To Filter or Not to Filter

What is filtering, what’s the rationale for avoiding it, and in what situations might you want to stick with it?

Writing Character Emotion

Robert Olen Butler describes 5 ways the people express emotions. Writers can use these expressions to help build better character interiority. Here, his 5 expressions and an accompanying journal exercise.

Narrating Deep or Shallow: The Spectrum of Psychic Distance

An expert writer of stories needs to have some mastery of psychic distance—the distance the narrator stands from a character’s emotions, thoughts, and perceptions. No matter what viewpoint or person or verb tense you’re using for your story, your narration will sometimes go very close to character perception and sometimes stay quite distant. 

The True Source of Voice

Guides for voice usually focus on diction and syntax as the main avenues to achieving voice, and it’s certainly true that messing with diction and syntax will get you some unique voice. But the true source of strong voice comes from a different source.

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