Do you ever wonder how best to introduce your readers to your protagonist?
Do your the readers of your work ever seem confused -- and not in a good way?
Do your dramatic scenes not quite land the way you want them to?
Don't worry. This is a common writing problem.
This video presents a framework to help you narrate more nimbly and more effectively.
You'll learn how to slip complex background information into a gripping scene.
You'll see how famous novelists have mastered the art of point of view.
And you'll be able to apply these methods to your own work in progress!
The argument I'm making here is simple: most aspiring writers narrate too close to their story's action. It's like "show don't tell" but taken too far.
My belief is that, instead, a good story deploys and blends two different styles of narration: distant and close.
In other words, your narrator should sometimes:
You've seen your favourite writers do this many times. And you may think you are already doing it.
But, if you are like most of the writers I know, you are probably not using the full power and flexibility of your narrator.
It's great that you watched the video. But now comes the next step.
Theories can be great (I should know, I did a PhD) but without practice and application, they don't help much on their own.
So, if you enjoyed the video, and would like to try those techniques out, now it's time to actually get writing: I've prepared a printable worksheet for you to download.
You will write the next scene of your story using this "two narrator" idea.
You'll also see an example from me, a sketch of a novel's opening. I made this story up just now -- it's about a young woman returning to London after many years away.
In other words, you'll see an illustration of the techniques from the video.
Click the yellow button, below, to access the printable.
GET THE WORKSHEET HERE:
PS Now, just to let you know what's coming, when you click the link, you'll see a request from me -- I'm asking a small favour in return for sharing my writing and the worksheet.
It's simply this: to help me spread the word. I would love it if you told one other person about the above video.
I am a very good writer, and a very good teacher, but I tend to struggle at advertising, so I would really appreciate a quick share on social media.
"Not all good writers are good teachers, but Daniel David Wallace (a talented, thoughtful writer himself) is a terrific instructor. If you can take a class with him, do it!"
JULIA BROWN // Editor and author
"Daniel respected my work and vision on a profound level but also had a keen editorial eye and a stroke of literary genius that took everything I’d written to the next level."
TAWNI WATERS // Award-Winning Author of The Long Ride Home & Beauty of the Broken
When I was starting out as a writer, I didn't understand why readers couldn't quite grasp my stories.
I wasn't trying to be weird or experimental.
And yet certain stories and travel memoirs of mine just left people mystified.
This obviously was an upsetting experience.
So I studied all kinds of storytelling approaches.
I read how-to guides and attended workshops, but I continued to feel confused.
I eventually did a PhD in creative writing. I researched narrative form, rhetorical appeals, and the science of skill acquisition.
I discovered that a failure to properly narrate was dooming a huge number of my contemporaries' stories.
Now, fiction is a huge and diverse art form, and this two-narrator method won't work for every kind of story, but chances are, it will probably be useful for your novel-project.
So far, it has worked for many of the writers I have coached.
More videos are coming.
During this "novel writing seminar," I'll share techniques and printable worksheets for:
These are the same techniques I've taught to dozens of writers.
It's a comprehensive, free course for aspiring novelists.