Narrators (and New Beginnings)

Hey y’all. It’s been a while.

I recognize that it seems like I’ve given up on this blog, but starting today I would like to endeavor to prove that I haven’t. I was worried about having something profound to say in every single post I made, but this seems too close to comparing first drafts to final drafts. The goal of this blog is to get something out every other day, to get to know you all better, and to not always feel so alone in my writing process.

Onto other matters …. I’ve recently realized that people tend to focus on the subject of descriptions but often a description reveals nearly as much (or more) about the narrator. 

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Who is our narrator? What do they notice – what about that do they truly care about? Are their descriptions physical, or do they focus more on the feeling something gives them, on the way someone carries themself and what that might reveal about them? For instance, I tend to, if I’m writing in third person, describe personality over physical traits and I often have readers telling me they can’t quite picture a character because I haven’t physically described them enough. I realize physical traits are important in a sighted world,  but to me, who my characters are matter more. I think this should come out when we’re writing in first person as other characters as well. How does our narrator interpret physical cues of emotions? How do they respond to what they see?  What experiences have lead our narrator to this exact moment with this exact description? At the start of the book, would they have given the same description?

It’s really easy (in theory) to practice this by describing a character/scene by several different characters. I’ve been doing this recently with a novel I’m editing to strengthen my understanding of my characters who perhaps aren’t in every scene but who I refuse to ignore and demote to being a secondary character. It is my firm belief that every character is important. You can also practice this by having one character describe a character/scene at different times throughout the book. How does their description and mindset concerning the character/scene change as they progress through the book? If nothing changes, something is wrong. Dynamic relationships and personal growth are vital to strong, realistic characters. No two characters should describe the same person/scene the same way.

Aivee.

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