5 Types of Narrators in Fiction Writing Explained

Hello Writer Bees!

Today, we are going back to basics in story writing. What point of view is best for your WIP? Let’s break down the different types of narrators in a story.

First Person Narrator

Pronouns: I, my, me.

Example: The Narrator from Moby Dick. ” Call me Ishmael.”

First Person is a very personal perspective. A first person narrator tells the story from their point of view. The reader has a front row seat to this character’s thoughts and feelings as they go about their day. This type of narrator can be either a main character or a distant observer. By using the first person narrative, it puts a limit to what the narrator, and the reader, knows and doesn’t know. For example, first person narrators don’t know what is plotted on behind closed doors, hindering their insight.

Second Person Narrator

Pronouns: You, Your.

Example: If I’m remembering correctly, Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern has some chapters using second person that are utterly enchanting.

A Second Person Narrator talks directly to the audience, enveloping the reader into the story itself. Think of it like playing a choose your own adventure game, where the reader is a character. “You do this, you see that.” This one is quite rare in fiction; It’s more for technical writing. It’s difficult to perfect, but not impossible, so don’t be discouraged to experiment with this style. This narrating style makes you feel like you are part of this fictional world.

Third Person Narrator (Limited)

Pronouns: He, she, they.

Third person narration gives the writer more freedom to move around, follow multiple characters and explore multiple rooms of the house, so to speak. Usually, the third person narrator isn’t an actual character at all. It’s a more objective viewpoint. Keep in mind, this may lead to a lack of connection with the reader. The audience is privy to more information about the plot, information the main characters may not even be aware of, but not the characters personal thoughts and feelings.

Omniscient Narrator

Usually third person. Uses ‘he, she, they’ pronouns.

With this one, the narrator knows everything, from feelings to inner thoughts. Imagine an all knowing, all seeing God-like being, looking down at the world. They have no stake in the story, they simply retell the story to the reader. Omniscient narrators know everything, from plot events to character’s motives to unspoken thoughts. Some would argue that it’s the author themselves, telling the story. I’ll let you be the judge.

Unreliable Narrator

Usually first person, usually undependable.

Some narrators just can’t be trusted, can they? The viewpoint of this narrator is very biased, clouded by their own -possibly flawed – judgement. Other characters in the story may not be described accurately because of the narrator’s own perception. Certain events can be skewed. Even the narrator himself could be not what he appears to be

Example: Check out the narrator from The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. He may know more about the murder than he is letting on. Hint Hint.

Choose Your Narrator Wisely

Really take the time to think about whom the narrator will be and how well they can tell your/their story. It’s important for the reader to really connect and be engaged with the character or viewpoint chosen. Think of it like this, the narrator is the reader’s vehicle as they ride the rollercoaster that is your story.

If you are struggling to decide which narrative you want to use, try multiple styles. No harm in experimenting. It’s like reading an essay for school out loud before handing it in. You’ll know what fits your story best when you read it.


How did you decide the narrator for your story or WIP? What is your favorite kind of narrator to read? Talk to me in the comments.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Follow Me on Twitter

Tips on Writing for the Anti Hero

Hello Writer bees!

Happy New Year everyone!

We’re starting off 2023 with some writing tips. And funny enough, this topic was inspired by my non-writer boyfriend. For weeks, he has been singing – loudly and off-key, mind you – that Taylor Swift song, ‘Anti Hero’. So much so, I told him “Maybe I should write a post about Anti-Heroes.” To which he replied, “I would love that!”

So today, we are rooting – I mean writing – for the Anti-Hero.

What is an Anti-Hero?

Yes, we all love a knight in shining armor. We all love a Superman. But not every protagonist is a golden hero with a pure heart. In simple terms, an Anti-Hero is a type of protagonist character in a story. However, they don’t look like your traditional hero. Lacking the traits typically associated with heroes, an anti-hero is complex and flawed. Their actions are morally ambiguous.

Non-So-Heroic Traits

It’s all in the characterization of the anti-hero, what traits you give them. Consider this, if a conventional hero is selfless and a team player, the anti-hero would be more self-interested and an outcast. While their intentions may be noble, their morals and actions may not be. Ends justify the means, right? They will do whatever is needed to reach a goal, including making a few “bad” decisions. Also to note, when building characters, really dig into their backstory and their internal conflicts. What do they struggle with? How has their personal history impacted their personality?

Anti-Heroes and Antagonists

Keep in mind, there’s a fine line between the anti-hero and the antagonist. Yes, the anti-hero will engage in actions that may seem villainous and corrupt. However, they cannot cross into villain territory. They can toe the line of evil, but never be as evil is the antagonist. If it’s for the greater good, this morally misguided protagonist will take whatever action they deem necessary to accomplish their mission. For the anti-hero, being a bad guy doesn’t make them the bad guy. Did I get that Wreck-It Ralph quote right?

Foils

Think of it like this, every Batman needs a Robin. A good anti-hero needs a good foil, someone who breaks down the hero’s tough exterior and shows another side of them. The foil – whether that be a sidekick or love interest or family member- shines light on the anti-hero’s redeeming qualities. Supporting characters can be an asset to an anti-hero’s characterization.

All in all, you should create a hero that the audience will want to root for.


Who are some of your favorite anti-heroes? Lemme know in the comments!

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

How Specters Visit (100 Word Ghost Story)

“So, what did it feel like?” She asked, curious. A spread takeout boxes between them.

He struggled with holding chopsticks and feeding himself. “It’s hard to explain.”

“Well, try!” she huffed. “I’m dying of curiosity here.”

He hummed, hands juggling to find the right words. “You ever pull on a sweater that’s too big and get lost in all the fabric? That’s how it felt.”

“Seriously?” She slurped some noodles. “I’ve heard about spirit possession on those ghost hunting shows and always wondered….”

Eyes glowing, the ghost shrugged their human vessel’s shoulders. “It’s an out-of-body experience. No pun intended.”


Stay safe and stay creative, writer bees!

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

Follow Me on Twitter

That Fateful First Date (100 Word Love Story)

I don’t know what exactly it was about that fateful first date.

It could’ve been the crispy french fries.

It could’ve been the five-dollar pink roses sold by a homeless woman.

It could’ve been the way you held me in your arms in the middle of Rockefeller Center.

It could’ve been two lucky pennies thrown into a New York City fountain.

That chill of December. That crowded train ride home. Being at the right place, right time.

It could’ve been all those things.

What I do know is that first date led to years of laughter and adventures and love.


Today is my partner and I’s anniversary! To celebrate, I wrote this piece based on our first date, all those years ago.

Stay safe and stay creative, writer bees!

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

Follow Me on Twitter

My Favorite Blog Moments of 2022

Hello Writer Bees!

Hope you all are enjoying the holiday season.

To close out 2022, I wanted to share some of my favorite stories and posts from this year. Enjoy!

Writing Tips

How to Conquer Your Writers Doubt

The Golden Rule of Fiction Writing: Show Don’t Tell

5 Archetypes of Fictional Detectives

My Writer Life

Celebrating 500 Posts

Writing My First Whodunit Draft in College

What Inspired My Short Stories

Flash Fiction

The Graveyard Shift

Sunny Day Towing Company

Pixies and Paperwork


Thank you for all the love and support. It’s been a stressful year and you lovely readers have kept me afloat. Wishing you all positive writing vibes in the new year! See you in 2023!

Stay safe and stay creative. Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

Follow Me on Twitter

5 Subgenres of Romance Fiction Explained

(Happy holidays everyone! I’m currently on break right now, but please enjoy this repost. See you all in 2023! – Love, Victoria aka Lady Jabberwocky)

Hello Writer Bees, 

With Valentine’s Day only a few days away, let’s talk about the lovely subgenres of Romance Fiction.

Historical Romance

Rev up that time machine and travel back in time with a Historical Romance. As the name suggests, this love story takes place in the past, usually before 1950. Historical periods such as the Victorian era, Medieval Times, or the Roaring 1920s are examples of possible setting used in this romance subgenre. No matter the year, the time and place of a plot may impact a couple’s relationship. Rules of courtship and class can apply to characters and their relationships. When writing a historical romance, historical accuracy and research is crucial. Describing and understanding the clothing and culture of a time long ago will bring a certain era to life for your audience.

Paranormal Romance

Twilight

Love can be magical. And in a paranormal romance, it really is! In this romance subgenre, elements of fantasy, paranormal or sci-fi are at the core of the plot. Not necessarily restricted to magical creatures only, a Paranormal Romance could include any non-human creature, from ghosts, to fairies, to the ever-irresistible vampire. That being said, there’s an opportunity here to explore a human x non-human relationship, or a couple from different magical backgrounds. Truly, the possibilities are endless. Incorporating fantasy elements in a love story requires solid worldbuilding. If magic is real in that world, create a magic system and know who can use magic and how. If the story involves a non-human creature, what specific characteristics apply to that race?

Contemporary Romance

If you’re looking for a modern day happily ever after, perhaps a contemporary romance is more your speed. This romance subgenre focuses on current conventions and topics, for a more modern approach. Subject matter may include online dating, LGBTQ storylines and workplace romance. Main characters don’t fit the mold and may not live up to what’s considered attractive by society. Often times, the heroine is an independent woman with a career. This romance subgenre encompasses all shapes, sizes, colors and sexualities. When writing in this romance subgenre, remember that love isn’t perfect. Create characters with flaws and challenges and place them in realistic dating situations.

Erotic Romance

Fans Self GIFs | Tenor

Things can get steamy quickly in this romance subgenre. Erotic Romance centers around explicit, sexual interactions between lovers. It’s not total smut, but let’s just say vividly detailed sex is a major component of the plot. Relationships grow and develop through scenes of physical intimacy and intense chemistry. Often, characters are cliché and unrealistic, examples being a curvaceous cutie or six-packed hunk. If I’m honest, this is not my favorite genre. However, if I had to give a piece of writing advice, it’d be to focus on the character’s physicality, the way they move and how they interact with others. During intimate moments – not just sex scenes – be mindful of how body language is written. Readers want to feel swept away, and maybe a little turned on, when they read this kind of story.

Romantic Suspense 

Romance plus adventure equals an exciting romance subgenre. Romance suspense involves action, suspense and intrigue as the couple tackles situations like a murder mystery or criminal plot. In some stories, there is a threat on one person’s life and the other must act as protector. Or perhaps they protect each other. Characters that play well in this romance subgenre can be detectives, superheroes, members of law enforcement or even femme fatales. Regardless, in the end, the heroes form a strong romantic relationship, hopefully leading to a happily ever after or grand finale kiss. Whether there’s a mystery to solve, a villain to defeat, or a race against the clock. Romantic Suspense can be thrilling story for many readers.


Like this post? Then check out the 5 Subgenres of Mystery Fiction Explained.

What’s your favorite romance subgenre? Talk to me in the comments.

Stay safe and stay creative.

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Follow Me on Twitter

The 5 Subgenres in Mystery Fiction Explained

(Happy holidays everyone! I’m currently on break right now, but please enjoy this repost. See you all in 2023! – Love, Victoria aka Lady Jabberwocky)

Hello amateur sleuths,

The mystery genre is like ice cream.

Exciting. Delicious. And they both come in a variety of flavors.

Today, I’m breaking down some subgenres of mystery. Since some of these subcategories overlap with one another, I will try to focus on the 5 most notable subgenres in detective fiction.

Classic

A straight vanilla mystery right here. Everyone loves and respects a good classic done right, right? This has your traditional storyline where the investigator – who can either be a professional or a novice – solves a whodunit. A large chunk of the plot is centered around an inspector gathering clues and interacting with suspects. Depending on the sleuth and the target audience, the level of gore may vary. However, traditional mysteries tend to involve murder. In the end, the culprit is reveal and all loose strings are neatly tied in a bow. Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Nancy Drew are the prime examples of this mystery subgenre.

Nancy Drew GIFs | Tenor

Cozy

Looking for violence and sex and foul language? This is not the mystery subgenre for you. A cozy mystery is the kind of story you want to unwind with while wearing fuzzy socks. The tone is much lighter, and can even be considered wholesome and humorous. Book titles are pun-filled and corny. The crime is described in a less gruesome way. Typically, the sleuth is an amateur detective, nosy neighbor, or a knitter with some free time on their hands. Solving a mystery is like a fun hobby or satisfies their idle curiosity. These kinds of mysteries often include a fluffy companion, like a loyal canine or finicky feline. For a cozy mystery, solving the crime is all in good fun.

Old lady knitting gif 1 » GIF Images Download

Noir

Opposite of a cozy mystery. In noir fiction, like it’s film counterpart, the atmosphere is dark and gritty. The world is a cynical and hopeless place. Shadowy street corners. Femme Fatales a lighting cigarette. Hard-boiled detectives are flawed anti-heroes with ambiguous morals. Those are the common traits of noir. When it comes to what’s right and what’s wrong, the lines are blurry. Noir endings can often be open ended and open to interpretation. Is justice served? Is the detective a hero? All valid questions in noir.

She Devoured Men The Way She Devoured Cigarettes | Movie stars, Bogart and  bacall, Humphrey bogart

Police Procedural/Forensic

For readers who enjoy those CSI shows, this subgenre is for you. For this subgenre, the main focus is police investigation. And it’s as accurate to real life as possible. Think unsolved crime documentary. Usually, the main character’s occupation is in law enforcement, in some way. Whether that be a cop or a forensic scientist or a coroner. In this subgenre, a lot of time and detail is devoted to the forensic science side of a case. Autopsy reports, crime scenes and dead bodies are described in almost too vivid detail. Not exactly for the faint of heart. But hey, reading a story like this, you may actually learn something about police procedure in a realistic case.

Forensic GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Supernatural

Need some spooky Halloween vibes? This mystery subgenre is centered around the paranormal, investigating things that go bump in the night. In a supernatural mystery, the story designed to startle and thrill readers, dipping its toe in fantasy and horror genres. Elements of the unknown, ghosts and mystical are mixed into the narrative. Haunted houses and misty graveyards would make an excellent setting, I’m sure. The supernatural mystery is a puzzle – for both the reader and the detective. Explaining the unexplainable is the main goal of the investigator. When the story concludes, there’s usually a logical explanation for the paranormal disturbances.

Halloween GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

What is your favorite mystery subgenre? And if you are writing/have written a mystery story, what subgenre would you categorize it under? Or what is your favorite mystery subgenre to read? Talk to me in the comments. I love to hear from you guys.

Hope you all are enjoying May of Mystery so far. If you have any ideas for future mystery posts, let me know!

Safe safe and keep writing!

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Two Cups of Joe (100 Word Fantasy Humor Story)

Arm in arm, the duo strolled into the cafe. One wore sunglasses and a wide brimmed fedora. The other did not.

“Hello ladies, what can I get for you?” The cashier greeted.

“One soy pumpkin spiced latte with two pumps of cinnamon.” The lady said.

“Sure thing,” they typed in the order and looked toward the pale woman. “And for you?”

“One cup of O Negative, if you have.” She smiled, revealing her fangs.

Eyebrows raised; the cashier froze then asked. “Small, medium or large?”

“Small. I’m trying to cut back,” The vampire laughed. “Oh! and a blueberry scone, please.”


Tip Jar // Follow Me on Twitter