How to Choose the Right Narration Style for Your Story


Before you even begin to write your story, it’s important to choose how your novel will be narrated.

Choosing the right narration style can seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s see our top contenders and determine how to pick the right narrator for your story!

Behind door number one is the first person narrator.

This narrator is a bit self-absorbed and is only concerned about “I.” The first person narrator is an essential cog in your story’s wheel, telling the story through his or her eyes through observation and discovery. If you want to have a more action-oriented book, a first person narrator is the route you should take. Genres such as thrillers, mysteries and detective stories are all viable platforms for the first person narrator.

Now, behind door number two is the second person narrator.

The second person narrator is more concerned with “you,” and putting you in the action. This style offers a different emotional connection by directly addressing the reader and inviting them inside of the emotions that are present in the novel. This type of narration has the potential to intensify the writing, but it can possibly become a bit stale. To that point, use it sparingly – whether it’s in the prologue or if it’s spurred on by the first or third-person narrator!

Last but certainly not least, behind the third and final door is, you guessed it, the third person narrator!

This narrator is a name caller and commonly uses “he,” “she” and “they” while telling a story. The third person narrator is an observer who describes and explains the characters and their actions, feelings and thoughts to the reader. The most alluring trait of a third-person narrator is that the readers won’t be stuck inside one character’s head. Rather, this type of narration gives the reader the opportunity to experience the thoughts and feelings of more than one character, and offers various perspectives for the readers to analyze.

Before you decide to go with the third person narrator, consider what role the narrator will have. Will the narrator be well-informed and know all, or will their knowledge, like the characters’, be limited until the big, climactic reveal?

So, before you decide to start your story, consider the various narration styles and decide which one best fits your novel!

Copyright Dorrance Publishing, 2015