Tag Archive - Novel Structure

5 Reasons to Consider Using an Omniscient Narrator

Today’s guest post is by Brenda Berg.

Take any writing class, and talk to any editor, and he’ll say “never write with an omniscient narrator.” I’ve never heard a good reason for that, though, and that’s why I decided to get a writing consultation with Paper Fellows. We worked on the issue, and here’s what I learned.

What is an omniscient narrator?

An omniscient narrator is one that is literally all-knowing. He (or she) knows everything that is happening in your story at any time, and that includes any information that your characters may not be aware of. He also has a good understanding of the history of your story’s world.

Why are writers told not to use the omniscient narrator? Because editors know just how easy it is to make mistakes with it. After all, you’re not all-knowing yourself, so how can your narrator be? It’s actually easier than you think if you take care when you’re writing and use tools such as Cite It In to get the facts correct. Here’s why an all-knowing narrator is so useful and how you can use one.

  1. Readers get to know multiple characters

A story is often much bigger than just the one character. Multiple characters will be making an impact on the story, making changes that affect others who may not even know them. This can be seen in the Game of Thrones books (though these books are not written with omniscient POV; they’re third-person shifting POV), in which chapters jump between different characters and show what they’re all doing. Continue Reading…

Crafting Opening Novel Scenes That Pack a Punch

Today’s guest post is by Jennifer Locke.

Novel beginnings are tough.

The writer faced with a blank document must ask herself question upon question.

  • How do I include relevant information regarding time and place without front-loading a lot of backstory?
  • Which key details will set the scene in the reader’s mind?
  • How can I jump right into the action, without leaving my readers completely lost, unmoored from the specifics of story?

We’ve heard all the no-nos. Continue Reading…

Your First 50 Pages—Pass or Fail?

The first fifty pages of your novel carry the heaviest burden for your story. The opening chapters are all about setup. Setup of characters, premise, tone, writing style, conflict, stakes, world/setting, and so much more.

Thousands of writers across the US are finishing a novel today—or at least trying to. For some committed to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), this was a first effort. Others have participated many times and have cranked out the semblance of a novel each of those years.

I imagine a lot of writers who signed up didn’t reach the finish line of 50,000 words. I recall how hard it was, writing my first novel thirty years ago. It took me almost a year, and I thought it was a masterpiece.

How wrong I was. Continue Reading…

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