Narration 02/09/21

The weather has dropped here considerably. It went from the thirties to the zeroes in a matter of days. I drove to pick up Rios on the ice, then drove her back on the same.

It’s great weather, I think. I love it. If I didn’t have to drive on it.

Nothing better than being warm and inside when it’s butt-ass cold outside.

I was thinking today about narration. I’d had a Monster Zero Sugar Watermelon Flavor that hurt my stomach a bit, but I was amped and by myself and I’d just gotten done writing about 2,000 words on the novel, which is a nice clip for novel writing. In fact, it might be necessary once you get to the second phase.

Anyhow, I decided that the narrator should be a more prominent part of my books. I feel like this used to be a commonplace novel technique. You get the sense when you read fiction from the 19th and 20th centuries that there’s a person behind those words, who is telling you a story.

Somewhere along the line, this fell out of fashion. Maybe it was due to the rise of film and genre fiction, but books began to resemble movies. A series of scenes with a narrator becoming ever more invisible as the books went on. A stern-faced and disconnected god watching over the foibles of its creation.

I would like to see narrative voice come back a bit. Palahniuk always writes in the first-person, or at least as far as I know, but you always know that it’s him. This leads to a “problem” if all your books are supposed to be narrated by different characters. Less so if it’s narrated by one character: The Narrator.

A modern narrator should speak to their audience as though they are living in the 21st century. There are worries from people who say that it might sound “dated” in the future, but lol if you’re thinking about someone reading your book fifty years from now.

Plot, character, style, all of these things are important, but maybe none so important as voice. A wise man once told me that people listen to podcasts to hang out with friends they don’t have…why not the same for a novel. Look, we both know it didn’t happen. We both know its fiction. But we can journey together.

You can create a vivid and sustained dream even if you’re explaining how the dream is constructed. In fact, that might be the best way to do it.

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