Over the last few days I have been sharing my thoughts on writing, taken from my little books ‘So You Want To Write’… Here are my idea about who is telling the story, and where it might be located:
This is an important aspect of your story and is often established in the opening.So, who is telling the story?
- is it you? The unknown all-seeing narrator, who knows what is going on in every character’s mind and who can see it from everyone’s point of view?
- is it from a single character’s perspective and if so is the character a main player or an observer? is the story told in the first person? Is the story told as if looking over a single character’s shoulder and seeing inside their head?
- do several characters tell the story in the first person?
- is the story told from several different points of view? If an incident occurs the different characters would understand different things, feel different things, maybe even see different things.
- stories can even be told in the second person – this often happens in songs
Even in a short story, and more especially perhaps in a short story, all these aspects are really important so the reader can properly understand and see what the writer wants them to see.
Where your story takes place is important as the location can affect what happens and why and how it happens. It also adds colour and detail to the picture you are painting in your readers’ minds!
Make your reader see where they are; use verbs, adjectives, similes, metaphors… all the tools which bring language alive in the reader’s mind. Use all the senses but use them with discrimination, use colour, describe sounds, perfumes, aromas. It does not have to be a long description, a few well-chosen words or phrases can trigger an image in your reader’s mind.
The setting is not just the physical location although that is very important. The setting is also when it happened. Is it now? Is it in the future? In the past? You don’t always need dates, use famous events to place your story in its time. You can use more subtle clues, for example your characters using old technology, listening to a certain type of music, wearing a particular costume.
If you are interested in looking at my book, here is a link: