At this point you should have your story's mold and sand to fill it. Now you are ready to create your narrative lens, and the way you shape it provides more than just a point of view. You can use voice to convey many things in a story. For example, it's an especially good way to impart vital information, helping you avoid the dreaded infodump.
This is the second part of our discussion on narrative vocabulary and tone. To get the full context, start here: Narrative Voice: Vocabulary Choice and Tone (Part One) Part One focuses on vocabulary choice and ways to shed light on your characters' inner thoughts and world view through the language they use.
If your characters are the lens through which the reader experiences your story, and you the writer are the glassmaker, then vocabulary makes up the grains of sand which create the glass. Likewise, tone is the mold into which you pour your hot glass to set the lens.
Now that you’ve decided who is going to be telling your reader your story, let’s take a closer look at the technical aspects of how that story is going to be conveyed, and what the impacts of these technical choices may be on a reader’s experience.
Now that we’ve established what a point-of-view (POV) and a Narrative Voice are, let’s talk about Unreliable Narrators. These are narrators who, either because of the way they interpret the world, omissions in their story, or outright falsehoods and manipulation, lie to the reader.
Once you’ve chosen your narrator, your next job is to figure out how they speak. Have a good long think about how their upbringing, social class, race, gender, sexuality, education, job, family home life, nation, etc. interconnect and serve to shape their morals, choices, preferences, and understanding of the world.
Depending on how your plot is structured and the way your scenes are woven together, both your narrative and your readers may benefit from being able to experience your story through multiple different narrators.
Welcome to the first of five articles about creating a narrative voice.
Deciding who your narrator is going to be is not only vital for you as a creator —because without someone to tell the story on your behalf, you can’t tell it at all—but it will also effect how and why your story is exists at all. This makes narrative voice the most important decision you can make before plunging into the actual writing itself,