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Narrative Voice In Fiction: Part 1, The Basics Of POV (Point Of View)


Narrative Voice: Part 1, The Basics
POV (Point Of View)

“The author’s persona of a fictional narrative can help or hinder the success of the story. Which persona you adopt depends on what kind of story you are trying to tell and what kind of emotional atmosphere works best for the story.
“The persona develops from the personality and attitude of the narrator, which are expressed by the narrator’s choice of words and incidents. These in turn depend on the Point Of View of the story.”
“If the narrator is just the author telling a story in the third person, the persona is less clearly defined; it may be a lot like the author himself or herself, or very different. But the persona will still tell readers what’s happening in the story and what kind of attitude they should adopt toward events. For example, the persona may describe a death and make us feel outraged, or horrified, or amused.”¹

Point Of Views (POV):¹

Example sentence:
I walked to the store.

First person Point Of View is usually subjective: readers learn the narrator’s thoughts, feelings, and reactions to events.

Unreliable Narrator:
Willfully obtuse or is plain lying or at least giving only half-truths. The reader then must spot the inconsistencies in the story.
First Person Objective:
The narrator tells only what the characters said and did, without comment, and leaves it up to readers to imagine exactly what they’re feeling.
Observer Narrator:
Is a narrator outside the main story.
Detached Autobiography:
Is a narrator looking back on past events, with the benefit of hindsight.
Multiple Narrators:
Are First Person accounts by several characters.
Interior Monologue:
An interior monologue is one in which the narrator recounts the story as a memory, i.e. a stream of consciousness.
Dramatic Monologue:
The narrator tells the story out loud without interruption.
Letter/Diary Narrative:
The narrator writes down the events as they happen.

Example sentence:
You walked to the store.

Rarely ever used in short stories and novels; mostly this POV is relegated to poetry, prose and song lyricism.

Example sentence:
He/she/they walked to the store.

The story is told about the character, not from the character’s account of the story.

Third Person Limited:
Persona depends upon a single character who eyes witness the story.
Third Person Objective:
Readers have no entry to anyone’s thoughts or feelings. The author describes, without emotion nor editorializing what the characters say and do.
Third Person Omniscient:
“All-Knowing” the author tells the story from all perspectives, in this author’s persona the story can develop in any way of several directions.
Episodically Limited:
Whoever the Point Of View is for a particular scene determines the persona.
Occasional Interrupter:
The author steps in from time to time to supply the necessary information but otherwise stays in the background.
Editorial Commentator:
This narrator persona has a distinct attitude toward the story’s characters and events then frequently comments on them.

Hazards Of Using Persona:¹

One problem is when the author’s editorial rhetoric tries to evoke an emotional response that the story’s events cannot evoke by themselves.
Another issue is when the author’s persona seems more important that the story itself, and the author keeps reminding us of his/her presence through stylistic flamboyance, quirks of diction, or right editorializing about the characters and events of the story.
This issue happens when the persona’s excessive objectivity trivializes the events of the story, suggesting that the characters problems not be taken seriously.

Verb Tense:¹

“Verb tense can also affect the narrative style of the story. Most stories use the past tense.”
“Be careful to write consistently in one verb tense unless your narrator is a person who might switch tenses.”


¹Kilian,  Crawford. Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy. Bellingham, WA: Self-Counsel Press, 2007. Book.

Barrie Writers’ Club 2nd Anthology – SMF and Guidelines For Submissions

It’s that time again. Barrie Writers’ Club is venturing into the journey of working on our next anthology, Unleashed Ink II. This is an opportunity to walk through the steps of writing, critiquing, editing, accepting critiques, making changes and receiving a publishing credit.

Below you’ll find PDF’s with the Guidelines and SMF you are to follow for submissions, please read and follow them carefully before submitting.  If you need any technical assistance with formatting, please contact: Evie, Rose-Ann, Aaron or myself, Sara (my email address in on my contact page at SM CADMAN).

Happy submitting!

Unleashed Ink II - BWC Anthology SMF & Guidlines-1


Previous examples of SMF and exactly what your submission should look like, below in PDF format:

1. GUIDELINE & TIPS – Standard Manuscript Format

2. TITLE PAGE – Standard Manuscript Format

3. NOVEL & SHORT STORY – Standard Manuscript Format


Writing Prompts – Week of January 19th to January 25th, 2015.


Writing Prompts:

  1. Paint splattered on a canvas… Think Jackson Pollock.
  2. “Funny colored hat, crazy shoes, weird handbag, and dazzling hair – I’m so ready for this interview!” you think to yourself…
  3. A couple helicopter to a remote island for a romantic dinner and end up being forgotten in an oncoming tropical storm.
  4. Write a story in which exactly five different things go ‘click’.
  5. At Target‘s customer service counter you plead with the representative, “It’s a package deal? What if I just want the package without the deal, or the deal without the package?”
  6. Close your eyes, spin yourself around, then with your eyes still closed, point to something. Open your eyes and write about what you’ve pointed to.
  7. Write a love poem from the perspective of a pirate writing to the woman he loves. Think kim dotcom and his wife with his dots (children) :p
  8. An old man finds a coin that reminds him of a special day from his youth.
  9. The bridegroom insists he wants to wear lime-green socks at his wedding, to match his tie. You have to buy the socks for him.
  10. Write a poem about the number three.
  11. A detective constable and his/her cat communicate telepathically while they try to stop the criminals from taking over the pet food industry.
  12. Read the story of Matt DeHart at National Post, here then use these four words in a fictional story that resolves his plight: Hacker – Creeper – Soldier – Spy. (Additional information about Anonymous may be found here at Wikipedia too.)
  13. You are a Roman gladiator in a strange arena and the lions are…
  14. Two males pick up a female hitchhiker who makes their lives very difficult.
  15. What I know about myself is…
  16. An Apple employee dies during a secret business meeting in BeijingPeople’s Republic of China where he had gone to investigate new malware called, WireLurker.
  17. You’re a famous YouTuber on YouTube. You’ve just said, “That’s it for this edition about gaming” (or substitute this topic for another if you wish) when something happens…
  18. Blue cheese or bleu cheese?
Prompts from: Apple Apps Store, Writing Prompts by 21 x 20 Media, Inc. Download with iTunes here. And from With grammar and typos of prompts corrected, copy-edited and tweaked for relevance.

Sara’s Writing Prompts

Hello fellow BWC Writers!

I hope you’ve all had an excellent week scribbling in your notebooks – Have you written a piece that you will be sharing with us on Monday night for a critique? No?! Not too worry! I come bearing writing prompts.   The due date for submissions for the Barrie Writers Club 2nd anthology is approaching quickly – 15 more days left to hand in submissions by July 29th 2013.

Don’t over think it. Breathe and know that you canTake an inky plunge into the blank pages before you and just write.  Really, it’s just that easy.

“As for goals, I don’t set myself those anymore. I’m not one of these ‘I must have achieved this and that by next year’ kind of writers. I take things as they come and find that patience and persistence tend to win out in the end.”
Paul Kane


Writing Prompts:


  • But the butter wouldn’t stick to the bread…
  • A new neighbour in your apartment building is a vampire.  What will they sink their teeth into next?
  • After noticing the kitty picture as your desktop wallpaper, your cat becomes jealous of your computer.
  • How did all this cake get in my hair?
  • You are in the audience, when the lead singer forgets the lyrics. You are the only other person who knows them. What happens next?
  • You go to donate blood, but something goes terribly wrong…
  • I couldn’t find the glue, so I…
  • You see bullet holes in the promotional poster of your new business.
  • Every morning at sunrise, the sun shone through the church window to reveal a message.
  • At a state dinner, a political cartoonist spills ketchup on the vice-president.
  • At an auction, you place a bid on a strange object and win the bid. What is this mysterious object and what secrets does it have?
  • In the airplane, you hear the pilot announce he’s running out of fuel, and…(Strangely enough this one actually did happen to me coming back from Heathrow airport to Pearson.  We ended up having to land at Montréal’s Mirabel Airport…This airline has now gone defunct – Thank God!)
  • A cat and dog duo decides to play a prank on a pesky neighbourhood raccoon.
  • A journalist discovers the whereabouts of a wealthy family’s only heir who was abducted years ago.
  • A woman you have never met before tells you: “Your life depends on what’s inside my purse.”
  • Your new hot tub looks like a spaceship.  It has buttons, lights and other gadgets, oh and it can fly!
  • An animal in the pet shop where you work has some supernatural powers.
  • The lead singer in a traveling band gives away top security secrets to the enemy through the songs he sings.
  • A vacuum cleaner is invented that generates life from dust…
  • The copier wasn’t working again and I was on my last nerve when suddenly…
  • The computer screeched and the screen turned blue when he hit the submit button.
  • Pick a random person that you know and use their name for an acrostic.
  • Researching the quantum origins of consciousness, you discover you can alter and extend time…
  • A homeless man can see the future, but no one believes him.

All writing prompts were obtained using’s  iPhone App and also at their website, thanks!

Good luck and write on!


Next Thursday will be posted the second part of  the research information article.  Have a look for it under “From The Trenches…” link to the right of your screen.  Feel free to comment, ask questions or add your own suggestions.  Or even make a request for anything that you want to understand more about from Generation Enigma er Techno 😉 I’m learning too, so we may as well learn and stumble together!

Also: I will be attempting to make a Screen cast video on how to save, format and attach your writing submissions to email then submit these documents successfully.  Fingers crossed* I will be testing it out on my blog first.  Hopefully, I will not injure my blog in the process.  If you should hear a cacophonous boom from next door, RUN! Or refer my former blog to the appropriate committee, the Darwin Awards…KIDDING! 😉

Sara’s Writing Prompts

Hello fellow writing aficionados!

I have a slew of new writing prompts to ignite the fire in your brain and to finally put that pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard…!)

Remember, that the BWC Anthology Book Publication is still receiving submissions.  The editors and executive staff would love to receive your submission for story (or poetry/prose) from YOU, the members of BWC!

I know, I’ve been struggling with getting my stories and written things together but I’ll submit something if you plan to as well…? 😉

So, are you ready to take a chance and write something fantastic?  You will never know unless you begin to scribble!  Remember:  The anxiety about starting something is often worse than the finished product itself.  Let’s Write!


Write about geography. Pick a random place on a map and write about it. If you haven’t been there, imagine what it would be like.

A six-year old who has trouble with long words is chosen the king for an island nation.

Make up a creative reason for missing a deadline at work/school/etc.

Animals are pretty darned smart. Can’t say the same for a lot of people.

Write a small autobiography from the perspective of being a famous star/starlet  or rock/pop singer.  How fantastic is this persons’ life and what have they struggled with?

Write a sensational tabloid piece about an invented rock or pop band; try to promote their musical style and their personalities.  It could be satirical and humorous in nature or it could a puff piece on this band.

You just got the best job in the world: walking a famous person’s dog! – Who’s this famous person and can their dog really behave on his/her walks?  What’s this dog like?

An unstable scientist keeps cloning cats and eventually changes their DNA. What are these mutant cats capable of?!

You’re cleaning out your closet and find a worn bible, you had forsaken the Lord…Yet when you touch it, the Lord speaks..

Scribbled on the back of a bookmark, he/she read the most interesting thing…

After Doomsday/the Apocalypse, you bio-engineer a new kind of human being.

While exploring a cave, a geologist finds a stone that is not of this earth.

While you’re having coffee at Starbucks, a strange woman pulls up a chair next to you and says, “You must write my life story,” and…

The object you buy from a weird antique store makes you live in an earlier time.

Your camera card has a photo on it that you didn’t take of someone and you’ve never seen before this person before…

Someone you have never met suddenly punches you!  Why?!

After a walk on the beach you return to your spot to find a red rose carefully placed in your beach chair.

Someone stops you on the street and tells you that you have to give them your shoelaces, it’s very important!

Each room in a strange house gives a different supernatural power to anyone who falls asleep in it.

You are a guest at a wedding and two family members start an argument during the ceremony.

You mistakenly enter a room through a door marked “For Authorized Personnel Only“.

Write a letter from the happiest person in the world~! ;D

An overzealous librarian, while chasing after an unreturned book, gets mixed up in an international intrigue.

Write a short dialogue between two political candidates about an issue you care absolutely nothing about.

Prompts from and their Prompt app for iPhone with a few extras I added in – Have fun and Write on!