1. AndreasvanHaren
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    AndreasvanHaren New Member

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    About narration in a mystery novel

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by AndreasvanHaren, Jul 3, 2008.

    How important is it to use a narrator in a mystery novel? Is it out of date, or maybe should it not being used because it slows down the speed of the reading? I used it maybe to much in my first children book. When I read it back now, 4 years later, I notice that the main character gets to much comments of the narrator in the way he speaks and does thing. How do others here use the narrator?

    André
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Narration remains an important part of any novel. The important thing to be aware of is the POV of the narrator. Is the narrator the main character, or is it an invisible observer closely watching the main character? Does the narrator have a bias? Is one narrator used throughout, or are there two or more distinct POVs over the span of the story?

    Are you sure you are really referring to narration, and not internal dialogue? The latter can be overused, although depending on the narrative style you used, the distinction between the two may be somewhat subtle.
     
  3. Hubert
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    Hubert New Member

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    it might be different according to the style
     
  4. cawalabe
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    cawalabe Member

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    I wouldn't read a story that didn't have a ton of narration. This whole notion of "show--don't tell" that's plagued novels for the past 50 years has managed to destroy everything that's good about writing. The greats always went into much detail about why a character does the things he/she does. That's what makes the story interesting. That's exactly why we read people like Mark Twain, James Hogg, GK Chesterton etc. That's what made the parables of Christ and Confucius so good. It wasn't the parrables themselves, but the lengthy explanations they went into after telling them. It's the narration that makes you think and has the power to change minds.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'show, don't tell' relates/refers to the narrative, so i don't know why you'd bring that up in re this question, or assume it means to not have much narration, as you seem to be doing...

    it simply means that in writing narrative, be more descriptive than 'explanatory'... such as:

    vs

     
  6. cawalabe
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    cawalabe Member

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    Obviously the "telling" is going to done with narration mostly, and with little or no narration....
     
  7. AndreasvanHaren
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    AndreasvanHaren New Member

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    When I wrote my first children book and maybe even with the 2nd, I used this element without really understanding what I was doing. I believe that because of that, I mixed narrative a lot with inner thoughts. That's why I am studying this element a little bit more closely now so I am more conscious of what I'm doing.

    André
     
  8. cawalabe
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    cawalabe Member

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    "I mixed narrative a lot with inner thoughts."

    Yeah, the 'stream of consciousness' stuff has always bugged me too.
     

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