Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Who's telling this story?

I often write in third person, and have really been helped by workshop friends to identify whose story it is. Starting as an omniscient narrator I get to be the profound author with an agenda. And then it has to be pared back, generally to be one person's view of the story, and of course removing my telling telling telling.

Listening to 'Queen of Denmark' really highlighted the POV issue and how different the same story, in this case the combination of voice, words and melody, can speak to the audience.

Whilst I do have an opinion on which one works (for me), I think it's more useful as an illustration.

And while I'm talking about John Grant's work, I'm working to his new album 'Pale Green Ghosts' today. I haven't posted a Time Out Track for a while, and this video is hard to beat. You could be laughing 65% more of the time. No wait 63%,  25%…you work it out, but watch out for  rabbits, birds in cages, basketballs in greenhouses, and taking a flame to your skin during a facial. And women who eat pickled peppers out of a jar outside a kebab shop.


  1. You're right, changing POV can really help with editing a story, and moving from omniscient to limited certainly forces you to take out a lot of the telling. Omniscient can work well, though - just have to try to be all-knowing but not all-telling :-)

  2. It certainly can be done, very effectively, just that it's yet another art for me to master! I've just unpacked in an apartment in Lisbon to write for a week, with lots of stories to develop, so might set that as one of my tasks.