Friday Writing Experiment No. 45: Thrice-Told Tales


Let’s revisit the idea of the narrator, explored in a post I made last week.

For this week’s writing experiment: treat the same event in three different styles of narration, each a page long. You could vary any of the following in whatever combination: point of view; tense; format; narrating stance; psychic distance.

E.g., you might want to use a conventional first-person narrator, relating events in past tense some time after their fact, and then contrast that with the first-person narration in the format of a journal or letter, which relates events again in past tense but close to their happening and with the certain edge that brings, or maybe some first-person present-tense narration. Or a limited third-person, maybe using different characters. Or an omniscient aka involved narrator, who can shift between all the characters. Or an objective narrator, who does not much more than observe exterior realities. You could even try second-person narration.

As you’re writing, and afterwards, think about the trade-offs. You can’t have it all in any choice in writing, but you can find an approach that gives your writing an edge, something that makes the ingredients of your story even more interesting in the telling.

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