Thursday, May 14, 2009

Choosing the Narrative Mode

“When telling your story, it’s important to choose a narrative mode which does the most justice to that story. Remember, as the author, you are already in the omniscient role, but that doesn’t mean your narrator has to be. The greatest source of drama stems not from knowing, but rather from not knowing.” -- P. Bradley Robb in Understanding Narrative Mode.
I mentioned yesterday a story I wrote on Sunday. I did something different with this piece to give myself a challenge. Normally, I write a story and make some revisions on day one. Day two I revise some more, and then let the story sit for a day before finalizing it and sending it to one of my writing groups for comments. For this story, I did the entire process in one sitting – about an hour and a half. I missed a couple of minor things that I wouldn't have had I stuck to my routine, but that's okay. I enjoyed the process created by the self-imposed deadline.

One interesting thing happened. I began the story in past tense and switched to present tense after a few paragraphs. I noticed this when rereading the first draft. I gave it some thought and decided to keep the entire story in present tense. I'm not sure why. It just felt right. One of the comments I received was a suggestion to write the piece in past tense instead of present. :) I'll wait to see if I receive anymore reviews, then rewrite the story in past tense and see how I feel about it.

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