He said … she said … A slightly different Narration Style

Today’s topic of discussion is narration style. I’ve had people ask me how I came up with my slightly unusual narration style. From the beginning, I wanted to write the books in a first person narration. For example “I did” or “I said” as opposed to “she did” and “she said”. I find the first person narrative to be more intimate and easier to develop a real sense of character when you’re inside their heads hearing their thoughts. However …. The problem with first person is that you only know what the narrator knows. I’ll refer here to the Twilight books. They’re told completely from Bella’s point of view which in the end limits how much you can develop a character because you’re only going to understand a character through her interpretations of them.  As much as I loved the Twilight series, it isn’t until you read the unpublished manuscript of Midnight Sun, the last book, that you gain valuable insights into Edward. Midnight Sun is a complete retelling of the first Twilight book from Edward’s point of view. There are several other books series that do this, give you glimpses of other characters point of view after the whole story is told. I love reading them, but always feel slightly let down that I didn’t have these insights when I was originally reading the series. So with this in mind, although Sara is the main narrator of my books, from time to time, I toss the narration over to another character. I do this to create a greater understanding of characters and also to help move the plot along in specific ways. I like that there are things going on that the reader knows that Sara doesn’t. It creates tension in the way the story is being told and helps move the plot forward in more interesting ways. These other narrator chapters are usually short, just long enough to accomplish what needed to be told. Sara continues to be the main narrator in every book. This is because more than anything, it is her story. I’m pleased that people are responding positively to this narration style. It seems to be accomplishing what I’d hoped it would. So if you’ve read the books and have any insights on what you thought of my narration style, I’d love to hear your feedback.

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