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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Writing Mysteries  / Elements of a Mystery  /

About using a narrator's voice...
 
Andreas van Haren - 05:20am Jul 1, 2008 PST

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 Is it out of date, or maybe should it not being used because it slows down the speed of the reading?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?


Fran Hinkel - 02:46am Jul 2, 2008 PST(#1 of 6)
You can check out anytime you like...but you can never leave!

Good question. I am not a writer myself, so I am looking forward to some input from others here.


Andreas van Haren - 06:00am Jul 2, 2008 PST(#2 of 6)

I know that In the Holmes stories, a 1st person narrator is used (Watson) but that in general a 3th person is used. I didn't do so much research in how much is enough though, would be nice to hear others about this.

André


Fran Hinkel - 03:05am Jul 9, 2008 PST(#3 of 6)
You can check out anytime you like...but you can never leave!

Where are all of our writers? Maybe writing best sellers?


Rich Will - 06:19am Jan 26, 2009 PST(#4 of 6)

As a rule of thumb: 1st person past for lots of action 3rd person past for lots of reflection


Barbara Bassett - 12:44pm May 2, 2015 PST(#5 of 6)
(pseudonym of B.L.McAllister)

So, okay, maybe this is irrelevant, but an editor at a conference, after reading ten pages of a novel I'd done in first person (from the POV of an 18-year old) told me "teen-agers don't talk that way." I was not sure whether it was merely a matter of her having grown up among a different group of teen-agers (she was from New York and I from an area where education is more highly thought of) or merely that she didn't want to be bothered looking for ireal problems, but either way I figured I had to deal with the objection. I re-wrote it from an outside narrator's point of view. In the process, I improved the writing and the editor of a smaller press liked and published the book.Of course, I can't say for sure that it mattered, because the accepting editor never saw the POV version, so this doesn't have to be a useful comment, I guess. Maybe you can dig something out of it.


Fran Hinkel - 10:09am May 14, 2015 PST(#6 of 6)
You can check out anytime you like...but you can never leave!

Hmm, so maybe the editor's reasoning was off but seems like it worked out to your advantage - that's good.

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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Writing Mysteries  / Elements of a Mystery  / About using a narrator's voice...

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