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

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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

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

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5 Subgenres of Fantasy Fiction Explained

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

Hello Writer Bees!

One of my favorite genres to write and read is fantasy. And the fantasy stories come in a variety of different flavors. Today, I’m breaking down 5 subgenres of fantasy fiction. Grab your wizard hats and let’s dive in, shall we?

Fairy Tales

In my opinion, fairy tales were the cornerstone of fantasy. Folktales full of pixies and mermaids, trickery and wonder. Characters are fanciful as the world around them, from the lost royal to the walking-talking cat. We see you, Puss in Boots. Keep in mind, the general readers of fairy tales are children. That being said, the overall tone is usually kept light and entertaining. At the end of the tale, there is always a moral lesson to be learned. And they all lived happily ever after.

High Fantasy

Also known as epic fantasy, this subgenre lives up to the name. Dungeons and Dragons players and Lord of the Rings fans know this fantasy subgenre too well. With medieval fantasy vibes galore, there’s the ever-classic battle between good versus evil present in these stories. Often times, the plot centers around one hero, who starts off weak but overtime, grows into a mighty warrior. They’ll embark on their quests and explore the world, maybe meeting other races like elves and ogres. In Epic Fantasy, the cast of characters can get quite extensive, so keep character notes handy when writing.

Urban Fantasy

Forget the sparkly forests and towering castles of fairy tales, this fantasy subgenres takes magical elements and throws them into a modern cityscape. Full of grit and noir vibes, the story always takes place in a major city, with bustling streets. Typically, the main character is connected to both the real world and the magical world. And almost any mythical creature can call the city home. Maybe there’s a shapeshifter riding the subway, or a werewolf in the alleyway. Heck, I’d argue that superheroes fall under this fantasy subgenre too. Truly, the possibilities are endless.

Gothic Fantasy

Sometimes referred to as Dark Fantasy, this subgenre is the mix of supernatural and horror elements. Noted for its gloomy, brooding atmosphere, the setting evokes fear and anxiety in its readers. Building up suspense is crucial to constructing the spooky environment. In Gothic Fantasy, ghosts from the pasts haunt the characters, never giving them a night’s rest. This fantasy subgenre is more focused on supernatural elements, like specters, vampires and Frankenstein’s monster. If you’re looking for a good scare, Gothic Fantasy might be the subgenre for you.

Low Fantasy

Similar to urban fantasy, magical events invade on an otherwise ordinary world. In this fantasy subgenre, the supernatural does not exist or isn’t well known in society. When something magical does occur, it’s accepted as natural in the world, like it could happen any day. Disney films like Mary Poppins fit this bill perfectly. This fantasy subgenre proves you don’t need an epic dragon battle to have a good fantasy story. Sometimes all you need is a little sprinkle of whimsy in everyday life.


Interested in learning more about subgenres in fiction? Check out these posts!

What are some of your favorite and least favorite subgenres of fantasy? Talk to me in the comments.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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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

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