Narrative Choice, Part 1

Story Empire

by Stephen Geez

Every new story project offers me the challenge of finding a narrative style and format that are different than any I’ve previously written. I don’t make choices to be gimmicky, but rather to find what works best, which is usually something I might not have routinely considered. The obvious choices come down to who (singular or plural) is narrating, and which tense (or mix of tenses) is being used. Beyond those, though, narrative offers nearly unlimited possibilities. Is your narrator talking to readers—or another character? Is the narrator speaking of believable events, or might that person be unreliable, speaking opinions rather than facts, or even spinning a yarn from delusion? How much does your narrator know—and is s/he revealing or holding back—or deceiving? Seems the more we consider options, the more choices we need to make.

For this post, I’ll start with the basics in narrative choice—voice…

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