Saturday, April 16, 2011

N is for Narrative

Thanks so much for visiting me today! Hope you're having a wonderful weekend.

Today's post is short and sweet, and I wanted to leave you with some words of wisdom on narrative from kid lit agent, Mary Kole:

When writing fiction, whether in first person or third, imagine yourself sitting around the dinner table  retelling events to your friends and family.

This bit of advice has helped me so much. It keeps your storytelling vivid, your prose realistic, and voice genuine. Especially with revisions when you're reading over your work. Pretty much, if you can't imagine yourself saying it like it's written, it needs to be reworded.

BTW  did you see the A to Z Challenge was mentioned in Nathan's Bransford's Friday blog post? Wow it's like a phenomenon! Get down to funky town and rock on, brothas and sistas!

Okay, happy blog hopping! I'm way behind, but I'll be making my rounds. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by here and comment. It means so much and I'm so very grateful for you!

33 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Lovely week=end post, we're over halfway through the challenge.

Have a good week-end.
Yvonne.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I wrote my whole THE BEAR WITH 2 SHADOWS as if a Lakota storyteller were speaking in front of a campfire, telling his tale to children and adults alike. Great piece of advice. Thanks, PK. Roland

magpiewrites said...

This is great advice. I find it hard to do with my WIP because it's in the first person, so when I'm telling the story, I need to BE the MC. He's not the nicest kid on the block and I'm often shocked at what he does, but the fact that I have to tell his story in his voice makes me empathize more.

BTW, I gave you the prestigious Versatile Blog Award. You can see it here: http://bit.ly/dXjs0w, if you are into awards and such. If not, that's totally cool. Consider it a virtual high five.

Catherine Denton said...

Ooooh, I'm gonna try that. And how cool that Nathan listed the challenge on his blog! Yahoo!!
My Blog

Catherine Stine said...

Good one! It's similar to what I advise students who have a hard time writing essays. I tell them to picture a persistent little kid asking them, "But why?" after each explanation they come up with.
Remember that age, when you couldn't get enough explanations, and you'd ask, "But why? But why? But why?" over and over?

GigglesandGuns said...

Great to ponder on a rainy weekend. Making note of the quote. Thanks.

Barbara Kloss said...

That was some great advice--thanks for sharing!

William Kendall said...

Good advice, PK!

Talei said...

I love that, - write it as you would say it. Makes sense!! Have a fab weekend PK! ;-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I kep it real. And cool Bransford mentioned it!

Old Kitty said...

Being able to tell a story orally is an amazing skill to have!!! My older sister in australia is blessed with this talent. I remember being entertained by her imagination every night when she would wow us with her stories and flights of fancy so we'd be quiet and go to bed!

Take care
x

Elena Solodow said...

What a great quote - and so true!

James Garcia Jr said...

Thanks for the post, PK. Funky Town, hmm? I was just on Julie Musil's blog where she put Beatles in my head, but you just knocked it out with that!?! Lol!
Have a great weekend.

-Jimmy

J.L. Campbell said...

I'm in that stage with a MG story, crossing stuff out because my 10 y/o character wouldn't say this or that thing. Pretty cool that the A-Z caught Nathan's attention. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Kathryn said...

You guys have been rocking this! That's a good bit of advice to keep in mind. I definitely can see J.K. Rowling doing that; Stephen King sitting around the dinner table telling Gerald's Game? Not so much, but maybe the campfire. ;)

kelworthfiles said...

I'm not sure that's good advice to take literally - for one thing, the audience's attention span is going to be shorter around the kitchen table than if they're picking up a book, so I can take time to tell it right.

There's something of merit in the spirit of those words, though.

I'm starting up a 'Critiquing Crusaders' program, where participants in the Second Crusade can find other writers to exchange critiques with or form critiquing circles. If you're interested, come by The Kelworth Files to check it out!

queenofenglish said...

Great advice, PK. This is my first time here. You have a great blog and really interesting posts. I'll be back.

MM the Queen of English
queenofenglish.wordpress.com

Milo James Fowler said...

Good advice. I always read my work aloud to my wife before I submit it, and that helps me eliminate most of the clunky wordage.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Terrific advice.... Read you work out loud ... that helps a lot too!

Have a great sunny weekend.... YAY sun!

kmckendry said...

Thanks for the great advice. I'm way behind on my A-Z travels too. Have a great weekend! :)

fOIS In The City said...

Okay, I'll tell you a secret. I talk to myself in character ... sometimes I'm all of them ... it helps the most with two people having an argument. Don't get the net out yet ... so help me ... it works :)

Norma Beishir said...

I'm glad I didn't attempt the A to Z Challenge. I'm already so far behind I'll never get caught up....

Donna Hole said...

Excellent advice I try hard to follow.

I'm behind on reading people's posts too, but I'm not in A-Z. I did enjoy your M post. That was so sexy. Almost had me blushing :)

.......dhole

Grandpa said...

I write fiction every now and then over at my blog - so this is a timely advice.
It's awesome to be mentioned by Nathan Bransford, isn't it? And 'get down to funky town' reminds me of my favorite song, long ago

Thanks PK!

Grandpa
Life on The Farm

Susan Kane said...

I am a firm believer in a flowing strong narrative, as a storyteller. The images have to be painted before the characters can speak.

Amie Kaufman said...

Oh, you're right, that's great advice! Definitely something to keep in mind as I write.

L'Aussie said...

That's great advice for writers. Ta very much. This challenge has been fun even though exhausting.

Denise<3

baygirl32 said...

get down to funky town - I haven't heard that in ages

Jen said...

Mary has some great advice! Good post.

Nas Dean said...

Thanks for this great advice!

Trisha said...

Ooh, interesting advice - will have to try it! :)

Margo Berendsen said...

This is an interesting tip, because my first reaction was "really? Maybe not the way I tell stories at the dinner table!!" But then I thought, hmmm, worth a try. Because maybe that's another clue to finding my voice... Thanks for the tip!

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