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Narrative Distance Revisited: Editor's Notes #161
March 25, 2014
Hello,

The greatest distance we have to cover still lies within us.
--Charles de Gaulle


In this issue:

1. Refocusing narrative distance
2. Tickled my funnybone
3. Interesting Web site

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1. Refocusing narrative distance
As promised in the last issue, today I refocus on narrative distance and clear up some confusion that I heard about after my first explanation. If you haven't read the previous issue on narrative distance, please read that first through this link http://www.writershelper.com/Editors_Notes-159.html.

Narrative distance is not another point of view (POV). It is a deeper way of looking at a variety of POVs. I think of it as where the camera is in relation to the reader. The distances begin far away and end beyond the camera and into the realm of the character's inner life.

In the list of five statements in Issue 159, the first sentence is "On the tenth morning after setting out again, a deckhand went about his watch." The camera is far away. We have little detail and no real psychological insight.

Contrast this with the last sentence, which is, "The infernal celestial furnace blasted his head, his neck, the tops of his feet, the very soul of him, with its devilish branding iron." This is a close close-up, and the final phrase takes us inside Thomas where we learn that he thinks of the sun as an evil tool of an evil master. Depending on what else we know about him and his circumstances, this sentence gives us a strong statement about Thomas and his situation that is completely missing from the first sentence.

The point is not that one narrative distance is better than another, only that one narrative distance is better than another for any specific purpose.

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2.Tickled my funnybone
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

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3. Interesting Web site
Listen in on a writers' forum where the topic is narrative distance.
http://longridgewritersgroup.com/rx/tr02/narrative_distance___placing_the_reader_in_the_scene_5_3_05.shtml

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