I’ve been writing seriously for the last few years, although I started my novel about five years ago. At that time I thought all you needed was to pick up a pen and paper and start writing. It wasn’t until I was rejected that I learned there were rules, strategies, and expectations that needed to be met for a publishable piece of work.
I’m still learning the rules and the writer lingo. Yes writers do have their own catch phrases and words that us non-writers may have heard but had no idea what they were talking about.
Have you ever had anyone ask you about your narrative voice? I know what the POV is and am pretty comfortable with that. Goodness knows I messed mine up so many times that I had to put some serious time in to figuring out what it was and how to use it properly, but narrative voice was not one of the options.
An article I read in Writers Digest this past week best described narrative voice. It’s the stream in which your story flows, the current carrying along the key information a story needs to thrive.
Setting descriptions, observations, philosophical musings, sensory imagery and more slip through the cracks between action, dialogue, and thoughts in your novel. All of that in-between material constitutes your narrative voice.
The narrative voice and the POV work together. If the narrative is the stream, then the POV is the swimmer stroking through it sending feelings and actions to the surface.
Now you have it. If anybody asks you about your narrative voice, you have a better understanding about what they are asking. There is so much more information available on the narrative voice and how it works with the POV but I want get into that today.