13.45: Next Level Narration

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Amal, and Maurice

Narration is that stuff which tells your story, but isn’t dialog. It’s the voice of your narrator, and it might be multiple voices depending on how you’re handling point of view. In this episode we’ll talk about the things you can do to challenge yourself and level up your narration.


Write a scene from several points of view. Each of these characters are experiencing the same scene differently, and some of them are lying about it.

The Usual Suspects, by Maurice Broaddus
(NOTE: currently available for preorder. Between the time this episode was recorded and its air date the book’s publication date got pushed into May of 2019)

4 thoughts on “13.45: Next Level Narration”

  1. You guys mentioned how the default character is one who’s a lot like the author. When you take that too far, you end up with a self-insert character, generally in some sort of wish fulfillment story.

    When I started writing the Paul Twister stories, Paul was a lot like myself in many ways, so I decided to deliberately avoid that issue by turning the wish fulfillment aspect on its head: he’s a guy from modern-day Earth stuck in a fantasy world, and he’s actually got it pretty good as such things go, but despite all the advantages there are plenty of disadvantages too, which he really notices. His fondest desire is to get back home to Earth and go back to the normal life he was born into. In other words, his wish fulfillment would be to have his author’s life!

  2. Writing from the POV of a person with “normal” brain-wiring is *always* writing the POV of a person whose brain doesn’t work like mine.

  3. Out of the city with big shoulders, Brandon, Mary, Amal, and Maurice talked about how to level up your narrators. Starting with unreliable narrators, but also multiple narrators, older, younger, and wild and woolier narrators… along with ways to be the fly on the wall and get into their heads. Read all about it in the transcript available now in the archives and over here:


  4. I’m confused about how to write a scene with multiple POVs without making it seem like head hopping? Any suggestions on how to write this or books/authors that do this?

Comments are closed.