Issue in 'Character Narrator' mode

by Cherry
(Alexandria, Egypt)

Hello, I've been following the right techniques in writing and trying to apply them, while doing so, I faced an issue. I noticed you wrote in the Narrative mode page about character narrators that the story be limited to what the character narrator is expected to know. Well what if my character narrator is actually speaking from the future and telling the whole story? I tried an example of that and saw different divisions of the character.

I used to write in a way where the narrator could sometimes speak to the reader. I wanted to know what is the best narrative mode for a long-length novel with too many major events, details, characters and subplots? Especially that my novel is based on a drama/romance/action kind of theme, and I could be lost in the middle with what mode I'm suppose to write with, I usually write without being attention because I get too deep in imagination, and always take what I'm imagining into the screen and it comes after that in a way I personally love but don't know if that is right or not.

Answer: There is no "best" narrative mode. All the types I mentioned in the article have been used to good effect. You have to choose what feels right for your story and be consistent in your choices.

The "future historian" is a fairly common type of character narrator. It can be an effective mode, since historians can command a degree
of objectivity and authority. The reader assumes the historian has researched the events in the novel and is trying to present a fair interpretation of them.

Of course, historians are not completely objective or all-knowing. They have their own perspective on the evidence. It is also hard for a historian to know everything that goes on in characters' minds. They may have to make guesses based on historical documents (letters, journals, etc.) There may be gaps in the narrator's knowledge. You have to decide how reliable and knowledgeable your narrator is.

Because of these limitations, the "future historian" and other character narrators appeal to writers and readers who distrust the idea that truth can be universal and absolute.

Sometimes a character narrator's personality, interpretations, and opinions become important elements of the reader's experience. For instance, if your narrator addresses the reader, referring to himself as "I," then the book becomes like a conversation or lecture in which the narrator is trying to persuade the reader that his interpretation of past events is correct.

You should also keep in mind the adage that "History is written by the victors." A historian may see past events quite differently than the people involved did.

If you want to describe some events from a more omniscient perspective, your character narrator is still free to do so. It will just be clear that he is describing how he sees or imagines these events unfolded and that someone else might have a different perspective.

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