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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Overview Voice: Omniscient Point of View

Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

The omniscient author/narrator knows everything about everyone including each one’s thoughts and motivations, even when the characters themselves don’t know. It allows many views of viewing an incident from many personalities and perceptions. And this narrator assumes complete control as to what information to share.

Think of a detective taking down all the statements of witnesses at a robbery or accident scene. The reader will get a wide scope and insight that a single character cannot give. And it can show friction if the statements conflict with each other.

However this style also creates emotional distance. We don’t really know what the characters are feeling. Both tone and atmosphere are set by the narrator as to whether he unravels the story with a touch of amusement or sarcasm or compassion. Can the reader trust him?

For the younger audience the choice can be confusing if not done with great skill. Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White, and Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne are two examples of the omniscient view done well for this age.

A YA audience may find this POV helpful when reading on a topic or activity that is painful or contradictory by giving them emotional space to process diverse ideas. However it can also cause disengagement or more confusion if lacking a strong thread.

Action Steps:

1.Take a key scene that you have written and re-write it as if a neutral observer fly on the wall detached narrator. You cannot enter your character’s thinking. Values and judgments are implied.

            2. Now reread your original scene and note what you lost and what you gained in understanding from this different perspective.

            3. Can you strengthen your choice version by implementing new insight?
Share: Did any details surprise you?

Read deep, marcy

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"The Seeker" Rachel Marks | Content Copyright Marcy Weydemuller | Site by Eagle Designs
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