In Fiction Books, How Do You Know If You Can Trust Your Narrator?

Jan 22, 2014 by

In Fiction Books, How Do You Know If You Can Trust Your Narrator?The Fiction Writer's Handbook

I picked up Shelly Lowenkopf‘s eBook, The Fiction Writer’s Handbook yesterday off BookBub for $.99 and have been glancing through it as it’s designed to be used. It’s not a straight read. But in the “Revision” section a question jumped out at me I have never pondered before and I don’t recall an episode in fiction where it’s been used against those reading the book but the stark question or concept is this:  In a work of fiction, how do you know if you can trust the voice who is narrating the work? 

I’ve done my share of writing over the years, and I consider myself moderately well-read. I don’t read enough, at least in fiction, because mostly my work focuses on non-fiction, educational content, growing businesses, technical writing, etc.  But I do enjoy a good story and stories are at the central point of what I feel is my purpose in life.

So I come to you now with this simple question. When you’re reading a work of fiction, how do you know that the voice/person telling the story actually has it all together?  Do you have it all together?  I don’t.

So if I began telling you a story, what do I have to do to establish to you that I know what I’m talking about?  Even in a work of non-fiction, I assume this still would hold. Yes, I could roll out a litany of my past accomplishments and tell briefly my life story, but what if the author decided to jade them a little, unbeknownst to the narrator?  What if the character, in what wasn’t said in the narration, purposely left off some of the details or skewed them?

Is that a compelling enough of a hook to keep the work going? But if the narrator isn’t able to say “hey, I’m messing with your head here and skewing some of this, so don’t believe everything I tell you,” then where are you as a reader? If you keep reading and then find out later, would that make you angry with the author or is that one of the special dynamics of the work that would make a better story and better experience for you?

It is an interesting literary situation.

So what do you say?

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First Book Signing For Author Will Manning

Jun 18, 2011 by

Last night was a milestone event for new author Will Manning, who has recently published his first full-length book, MLGW – A Peace of War.

The event was held at The Weekend Reader Book Shop in Balch Springs, TX. 

Attendance, though light for a June Friday night, was enough to give the author a boost and start a new and exciting phase of being an author:  Promoting a book project.

The discussions in the store were light and fun.  WRBS owner, Flo Lockett Miles posed interesting questions to ask, and here, we capture the first, official book sale with a signature event.   (Pardon the pun.)

More great things are coming from Author Will Manning in the next few months.  He already has two other book projects underway and they are books that already are getting attention–from the federal government.

Manning writes with a stunning level of accuracy and conviction.  It’s that level of accuracy, in part based on tidbits shared by those in similar real-life roles as his characters, that has stirred even more interest in his first book.  Wait until you see what’s coming in books two and three.

If you’d be interested in having a book signing event with Mr. Manning, please feel free to call us at 972-863-8784.

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Think About This: Them as ha’ never had a cushion don’t miss it.

Jan 5, 2011 by

Today’s thing to thing about is quite simple and straight forward: You don’t miss what you’ve never had.  

It was said long ago by George Elliot.  He more poignantly stated it as: Them as ha’ never had a cushion don’t miss it. For some reason, I’ve always thought it was “He who hath never had a cushion doesn’t miss it,” and for some reason I’ve been going about since my high school days thinking it was Benjamin Franklin who had copied it, I mean, adapted it.

In the 1990s song I Wish by a band called, “King Missile,”  (Their best known song wasDetachable Penis.“)  in a random series of lyrics that mostly make no sense at all, the singer laments that he wishes he could “Return to the life I never knew.”

But that’s the paradox of it all, and I think that was mainly the point of the song, you can’t long for something you don’t know exists.  Or can you?

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