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Robert Jackson

Mr. Killian.

It is a mistake to believe that the opening chapter can be successful in a third-person omniscient narrative, without introducing the protagonist and without a single line of dialogue until the very end of the chapter?

Crawford Kilian

Sure, it could be successful. All the "rules" are made to be broken, but some writers can get away with it and some can't.

The first of the Smiley novels by John Le Carre, has a potted biography of George Smiley as its first chapter. It works brilliantly, but if I'd tried it, I'd have failed. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in Love in the Time of Cholera, forgets all about "show, don't tell," and tells us what's going on. It's a tour de force, a tightwire act without even the wire.

Lesser mortals like most of us can do better work by obeying the rules.

Alice

This was a wonderful find for me, 300 pages into my first novel. I was confused about what the difference between 3rd person narrative and 3rd person omniscient and now feel I have a much clearer understanding. Thank you so much and... keep on writing!

Nana

Very pleased to have run across your web site! Am book marking it for reference.
Nana

juan ignacio calvo

Mr. Kilian:
What can you tell about the narrative voice on the World Wide Web?

Crawford Kilian

That's a good but difficult question. Much of the Web's narrative voice is first-person, present tense, especially in the blog world. In many other cases the voice is that of transcribed print.

Almost all of the Web is "objective" in the sense that we see and hear only what others say and show; we don't have access to their inner thoughts and feelings; we must deduce them from what people say.

That's true even for the most intimate blogs. No matter how much people may tell us about their awful ex-spouses or the power of this morning's hangover, all they can really tell us is what they wish to make public. Only inadvertently can they expose their inner selves.

Mike Jamieson

Hi there Crawford
superb site and valuable advice to novice writers such as myself. Could I open a discussion into what seems to be a 'new wave' label of "Emerging Narrative" fiction. Could you define this and could you give some examples?

Mike Jamieson

Hi there Crawford
superb site and valuable advice to novice writers such as myself. Could I open a discussion into what seems to be a 'new wave' label of "Emerging Narrative" fiction. Could you define this and could you give some examples?

Mike Jamieson

Hi there Crawford
superb site and valuable advice to novice writers such as myself. Could I open a discussion into what seems to be a 'new wave' label of "Emerging Narrative" fiction. Could you define this and could you give some examples?

Robert Jackson

Today after considering more on the subject of the third person narrative style, and more specifically opening a novel with much description and hardly a lick of dialogue I decided to do a goggle search. I was surprised to find myself being quoted in regard to the subject on this web site. Of course who can ever remember all the places they have posted on the internet… right?

To anyone who may read this, I remain as firm now in my belief that a narrative style less tons of dialogue is a good thing. Every writer has their own approach; their own voice; their own method. And to those that would dismiss the narrative style with limited use of dialogue as being a substandard vehicle to story telling, well I would just plain and simple have to say that—my friend you are misinformed. Many successful authors, including Fredrick Forsyth have produced many best sellers using this style of writing.

Some of you on the net, who are members of and post on the writers forums may better know me as Elmo Jackson.

So next time someone insist that dialogue is the key to a successful novel, I suggest they take a second look around.

Thanks for the opportunity to post,

Robert Jackson
(Elmo Jackson_

My updated e-mail address is [email protected]

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Some of My Books

  • : The Fall of the Republic

    The Fall of the Republic
    In a parallel timeline, 1990s America discovers the chronoplanes: parallel worlds at different points in history.

  • : Rogue Emperor

    Rogue Emperor
    The hijacking of the Roman Empire, 100 AD, by 21st-century Christian fundamentalists, in the second of the Chronoplane Wars novels.

  • : The Empire of Time

    The Empire of Time
    My first novel, published in 1978, but the last in the Chronoplane Wars trilogy.

  • : Gryphon

    Gryphon
    "Write a space opera," my editor said. So I did, with some nanotech thrown in.

  • : Tsunami

    Tsunami
    A companion novel to Icequake, set mostly in California.

  • : Icequake

    Icequake
    A disaster thriller (Antarctic ice sheet surges into ocean), dated but still fun.

  • : Eyas

    Eyas
    Originally published in 1982, and still the novel I'm most proud of.

My Blogs

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