Narrative: What’s Your Point of View?

Steve Fendt
8 min readAug 13, 2022

Getting some perspective

Photo by mostafa meraji on Unsplash

The first story I put on Medium was Down on Corio Bay, a 25-chapter novella illustrated with my own cartoons, digital paintings and photos. You might as well start big.

Every chapter was from a different perspective, using a different narrative technique. You might as well confuse the hell out of your readers.

This may or may not be a full list:

  • Dialogue with minimal third-person narration
  • An Ashley Madison chat thread
  • A text message exchange
  • Omniscient third-person narration
  • Interior monologue
  • First-person narration (journal / diary)
  • Third-person ‘limited’ narration from the perspectives of seven characters, including a shark

There were three interwoven story arcs.

Down on Corio Bay is no longer to be found anywhere online, as I’m in the process of tidying up and expanding it for slightly more formal publication. It has grown by five chapters, a prologue and an epilogue — and another story arc. It will be the second novella in my Friday Novella series on Substack.

My beta readers both liked it. One thought it was ready for publication; the other thought it could use some light editing. The development editor, on the other hand, identified the need for a lot of revision — and recommended turning it into a much longer work with more character development.

That seems like a big, heavy hammer to crack a small bag of mixed nuts. The passages of dialogue, with minimal dialogue tags, irritated the hell out of her: ‘Remember you’re not writing a screenplay.’

I’ll be keeping those, then.

Darn, it was fun to write!

I think it’s fun to read, too, but doesn’t belong in my first story collection. In that, at least, I agree with the editor. It’s too different in tone and technique(s) to the other stories, which are each written from a consistent PoV and in a uniform style.

A historical work in progress

--

--

Steve Fendt

https://stevefendt.substack.com Short stories, serial fiction, memoirs of a possibly quasi-true nature. Stories of the Australian beach and bush.