Category Archives for "Book Reviews"

April 28, 2019

Your Author-Narrator Dynamic Impacts Your Story’s Execution: Teaching by Example with Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

Kenneth Oppel and his narrator, Matt Cruse, work in harmony to share a beautiful, compelling story.

Their author-narrator relationship is so well honed that the reader feels a sense of leadership behind the actual story and can sit back and easily absorb the tale.

It’s true that as the author, technically, Oppel is Airborn’s narrator.

This makes the purpose of differentiating between the role of the author and the role of the narrator appear to be a moot point. 

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March 25, 2019

Your Narrator’s Temperament Can Create Pacing & Scene Structure Problems: Teaching by Example with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Most narrators are willing to work with their authors to achieve balance in their stories to increase reader engagement.

But not all narrators are amicable.

Depending on the subject, an uncooperative narrator may refuse to unite forces with the author, which means the story may suffer in various ways, such as its pacing and Scene structure.

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February 10, 2019

Your Narrator’s Pace Impacts Romance, Tension & Plot: Teaching by Example with Beauty by Robin McKinley

If you’ve missed Part 1 or Part 2, I recommend you check them out first as this post will make much more sense after reading them.

The narrator’s pace affects everything in the story.

McKinley understood this and respected Beauty as a character. Because of this, she let narrator Beauty pace the story in a manner that aligns with her personality: slow and deliberate.

But slow and deliberate does not equal an unpleasant read. There is a purpose to using a slower pace.

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February 6, 2019

Flawed Characters Create Compelling Connections: Teaching by Example with Beauty by Robin McKinley

If you are just discovering this post, head over to Part 1 first. In that post, I covered Beauty’s narrator & point of view, voice (and style), theme, worldbuilding, and magic system. 

Characters are the breath of life in a story. They make the plot events matter. But creating a character is hard, especially when the character needs to have a realistic personality and, simultaneously, be intriguing. It’s a tall order!

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February 1, 2019

Let Your Narrator’s Voice Shine: Teaching by Example with Beauty by Robin McKinley

Let Your Narrators Voice Shine -Teaching by Example - Beauty by Robin McKinley - Write Fiction Well

I’ve read Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast seven times now in the last decade after I first discovered Robin McKinley’s adaptations. It’s incredibly rare for me to reread a book but what usually does the trick is the voice.

When a book has great voice, it means the author understands the role of a narrator and lets said narrator do his or her job. In this book, it’s not an easy feat as McKinley brings Beauty and the Beast into the modern world by giving the tale contemporary relevance about feminine capability while simultaneously preserving the magical essence of what makes a fairy tale, a fairy tale.

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