ELEMENTS OF CRAFT

NARRATIVE TECHNIQUE: How the writer keeps the story or poem moving; the strategy that shapes it so it is as interesting to the reader as it is the writer.

PERSONA: The distance between the writer and the story's narrator; the personality of the first, second or third person narrator and its narrative distance from the characters. Also the guise or stance that distance creates; the intimacy of focus it demands of the writer. Perspective and freedom of emotion the persona narrator gives both the writer and the reader.

POINT OF VIEW: Who tells the story, and why? Why is one persona narrator chosen over another (how would The Great Gatsby be different if Gatsby told his own story?). In third person, should be point of view be limited to one or more characters, or omniscient? In first person, why is the story most effectively told from one particular point of view? Has the writer used letters, diary form, multiple points of view - and why? Who is the story ostensibly being told to? What is the difference between what the persona narrator says or reveals and what is really being said by the writer (such as an unreliable narrator)?

DESCRIPTION: How the writer sets the scene and introduces characters: how it is used to establish tone and mood and suggest the narrator's personality; lyrical, decorative, narrative, metaphorical, imagistic, etc.

MOOD/TONE: The emotional atmosphere of the story or poem; the primary emotion or purpose of the narrative (fear, love, sadness, hate, jealousy, etc.) And the real subject of story or poem is the mood. Tone is the tone of voice of the persona narrator (not the writer). How does description, time and place, action and dialogue, rhythm and music, evoke mood and/or tone?

ACTION: How is it used by persona narrator to reveal character, define persona, move story along, seduce reader's interest, develop narrative flow?

DIALOGUE: How is it used to reveal character and persona narrator?

SENSE OF TIME/PLACE: How they support narrative flow and reveal character, etc. Sometimes Time and Place become characters themselves.

 

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