One of the marvelous things about being a writer is the ability to tell any story, set anywhere. However, when your create characters and writing settings that don’t approximate your lived experience, there is potential danger that you may appropriate or misrepresent someone else’s culture and life.
Whether maliciously or accidentally, we can sometimes perpetuate harmful biases in our writing, and the best way to remedy that is by working with a Sensitivity Reader.
Short stories are a great way for up-and-coming writers to get some publishing credits and start to build buzz around their names. But don’t be fooled into thinking that since short stories are well, shorter, they’re easier to write or get published.
In most stories, your protagonist wants something—to change a law or the government itself, to avenge a death, to hook up with the cutie, to dispel a curse—and your antagonist usually wants something that is in direct opposition of whatever the protagonist wants.
From those opposing wants come the narrative conflict and thus plot.
The term worldbuilding conjures images of secondary worlds, far away planets, and magic systems, so much so that it has become ubiquitous with writing and game development, particularly within fantasy and science fiction genres. But what exactly is it? How does one go about building a world in the first place? And what do you mean, I should consider worldbuilding even when the world I'm writing about isn't big and fantastical?
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,