N is for Narrative voice, POV, and Distance
Narrative voice is the ‘voice’ of the narrator telling the story. They may be a character in your book, or an external ‘know-it-all god-like’ narrator, but whichever they are, it is their ‘voice’ the reader ‘hears’, and with it comes great responsibility. The narration of a book can be engaging, and lure a reader into a story, but get the ‘voice’ wrong, and it may just turn a reader away.
Choosing the right narrative for your story is one of the most important decisions you will make:
Identified by the use of ‘I, we, us, me’, this narrative is common in young adult books as the narrator speaks directly to the reader, and so limits the narrative distance from the character and the story. First Person allows the reader access to a character’s inner thoughts.
Identified by the use of ‘she/he/they, them’. The third person narrator has a wider viewpoint.
In fiction, there are two kinds of narration to choose from – first person and third person. (There is a third option – second person – but this is not used very often).
First Person tells the story from the character themselves and is identified by the use of ‘I, me, we, us’.
Third Person makes use of a narrator (who might also be a character)
distance is the gap that exists between a reader and character (or narrator). When deciding on what POV to use, you might want to consider whether you want your readers to experience the story from afar, or up close. If you would like your reader right inside your character’s head and experiencing everything they feel, both First Person and Third Limited (deep pov) will serve you well. If you would prefer your reader to have distance from the story, more as an observer than a participant, than third person omniscient (with an external narrator) will be the better option.