Novel Writing Blueprint-Narration | Susan Palmquist | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Lesson One-What is Narration?

    • 3. Lesson Two-Transitions

    • 4. Lesson Three-Pacing Again

    • 5. Wrap-Up

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About This Class

This is class seven in the year long Novel Writing Blueprint series. They are standalone classes but you'll get more in depth information if you follow along each month.

This one focuses on narration. What it is, what it can do for a story and its value in the overall novel writing process.

Meet Your Teacher

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Susan Palmquist

Author, Dream Inspirer and Writing Guru



I’m Susan Palmquist and for the last 20 years I’ve been an author, freelance writer, editor, blogger, teacher and tutor, (and before that I was a publicist).

It feels like I’ve squeezed a lot into two decades and it’s my tips and experience that I’ve learned along the way that I’m now happy to share with you here at Skillshare.

I’d like to show you how you too can write for fun or even for a living whether it be fiction or non-fiction.

Getting published wasn’t easy for me but I’m now the author, (under my own name and pen name Vanessa Devereaux), of 100 plus books and counting. There’s nothing I love more than helping others do the same thing.

I have my own coaching and critiquing business... See full profile

Related Skills

Writing Creative

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1. Introduction: Hello, my name? Susan Palmquist. And welcome to the novel writing Blueprint class. This is close seven in the yearlong blueprint classes I'm putting together, you don't necessarily have Teoh watch each of the classes, but I think it will be a great benefit to you if you are in the novel writing process, especially if it's your first novel. So far we've covered outlining your novel, plotting your novel, creating characters, writing compelling dialogue, picking the right point of view. And last month we covered pacing. On this month, we're going to be moving on to generation on. I'm gonna tell you something. You know about what narration is on exactly what it can do for your story, and once again it could do a lot. So it's very important aspect. This will probably be the shortest off the 12 classes, but like I said, you don't have to take all of them. But I think it will be a benefit to you. So if you're ready, let's dive in and I'll see you in less than one 2. Lesson One-What is Narration?: Hello and welcome back and thank you for joining me in this cloth. We're gonna talk about narration and for a novice writer or someone that's just sitting down to write the first novel narration concerned. Very overwhelming, almost intimidating. But it's really no, and it's sometimes called exposition. It's kind of interchange depends on. I always call it narration, but I know a lot of other people do call the exposition, But it's exactly the same thing. Andi. I like to think of it. It's the kind of the glue that holds everything together. I know sometimes when you sit down to write a novel, even if it's your second or your third, it consume overwhelming because you've got so many things to think about. You've got your pluck, you've got your characters, your door look, everything's kind of spinning around in your head, and then you've got this thing called Generation on. I like to think of it as almost like the skeleton that every other aspect of the novel writing process hangs upon. It's kind of your your building. It's It's kind of like, you know, makes for that smooth read that readers love so much on I like to think of it, too. It's the final piece of the novel writing puzzle. There's more classes to come, obviously the in this year long class. But narration is kind of that fine, a little piece that you can tweet Teoh to make your novel really stand out above the crowd about the competition. So I really think yet, you know you should pay attention to it. And that's exactly why I am of devoted one class specifically to narration on. I like to think, too, that it makes such smooth reading. It allows the reader to follow from one scene to another, or even one chapter to another on it kind of gives it that true to life quality on, I get totally a must in the story and just want to read on, and it just makes I think, you know, once you know the parts and you pull it all together with the nation and just make throw almost like a beautiful song. That's that's the way I like to think of it. So I'm gonna, in the next lesson, kind of tell you how you can achieve that and what you could do with duration on and you know, some some of the pitfalls to We'll get into that into a later lesson, but that's basically what narration is on. I'll see you in the next lesson. 3. Lesson Two-Transitions: hello and welcome back. And now we're at lesson to, and I mentioned in the previous lesson. That duration helps smooth the transition from one scene to another. One chapter to the next, and smooth is the key word. Always remember the word smooth. I have seen a lot of, uh, well, it's actually it's quite a common problem. I see with, um, manuscript of beginning writers. And there again, it's It's like other problems overy easily to solve. So it's no need to panic if you you know, I tell you this, and you think I'm doing the same thing very easy to sell. Sometimes you'll read, Ah, chapter and or even a scene, and all of a sudden they've switched completely two different characters or even a different, you know, location where we were at the beach. And now we're downtown, you know, New York or these new characters that I haven't even been introduced suddenly appear in the scene. And, um, it just awaken, even skip to maybe 10 years ahead in in the, you know, the plot of the novel on its very jarring And, uh, you know, when I read it, that's fine, because I'm there, Teoh kind of guide my students and and tell me what they're doing wrong to correct it, to make sure that it's perfect before they submit that manuscript to an editor or to contest or whatever. But if you're going, you know you're not going the route off a class or having a coach on your submitting a manuscript like that to an editor an agent, they're gonna know that you're an amateur. They're gonna, you know, think older. This this isn't even worth reading on because I'm confused on a reader of confused and there's so much work that we couldn't possibly you know, it would be too much editing, so they're going to reject you straight away. So that's one thing to make sure when you read through and do your second drop that you have smooth transitions. Nothing seems like you know what is going on here. I have done that lots of times with students. No, not figuring out what's happened, thinking it's the same characters and they're completely different or we switch location. So your narration kind of Smoothes on transit makes a transition from one scene one Chapter two, the other on. I like to think of it. I'm old enough to remember tapes, you know, songs were on the tapes cassettes on. Sometimes they would break Andi. I remember my father buying a slicing machine where you could spice the two broken pieces to get all the peace where it wasn't playing well and you could spice them together and it would, you know, join the two pieces of the song together. Sometimes that wasn't good. But I like to think that in a way, when you do your second draft, you're almost slicing things together. But you've got to figure out what can I put in there to make it a smooth transition so it doesn't jump. It just said, like the cassette. It it wasn't a jumping in the music or, you know, the lyrics piece of the lyrics were missing. We have to make that smooth transition. So you could even, you know, just put one or two sentences in there, like, you know, and then we went to the beach. Or, if you're introducing characters, you know, pull them into that last scene. So the next thing makes sense. They don't all of a sudden pop up like you know, some magicians, white rabbit. They're there for a purpose, and you're explaining who they are. So that's what I like to think. That narration does it access a transition and makes for that smooth reading on In the next lesson, I'm gonna be covering a little bit about pacing and point of view. So there again, you can see where, um, you know, a lot of these novel writing elements will time together, so I'll see you in the next lesson. 4. Lesson Three-Pacing Again: Hello and welcome back. And we're now at lesson three. Andi, I told you in the previous lessening about the smooth transitions that duration comply. And it's got some other purposes, too. On one thing, I would say Yes, I know. I told you at the beginning off this cost that you don't really need Teoh listen to the other classes. But this to that, I think you really should go and check out before you. Um, really, you know, listen to this course and that is the one on pacing, which was last month's costs and the one on point of view. Because these air two elements that do tie closely in together because narration is almost like your point of view character. I know that some people like that. What I called a sweeping the writer, the kind of the narrator that that knows everything. If you're familiar with the books that were mostly written during the 19 eighties, the kind of Saugus and it was there in a writer that seemed to know everything about everyone in the novel. And they're not my phone, but some people like them, but it gives you a feel for how generation works, but I like more of a personal narrator, meaning that it's one of my main characters. So definitely check out the class on point of view on the one on pacing. And I've labeled this lesson pacing yet again because it does tie in with narration and ah , class generation I Sorry the class own pacing. I did mention that you can have fast pacing or slow pacing on one way to self superfast. Pacing is to kind of put in more generation more of, um, not getting into the telling and not showing aspect, but more, um, kind of filling in like, you know, he walked to the window or she she drove the car and she went into the supermarket. You can add little out elements like that not only for that smooth transition, but you're going to slow your pacing down if fast pacing is your problem on. If you've taken the class on pacing, this is gonna make more sense, and that's why I recommend that you do listen to the posting class before you take this one . It's another way. This is what I like to think admiration to feed information to your readers Slowly, I've mentioned lots of times, and one of my pet peeves is people that dump information in novels like large chunks of it . This stuff your reader has to know. But some people just go on for pages and pages with backstory or information I think they need to know on. It's kind of lazy writing, and I think it bores a read. It comes across to them, I think, is lazy writing. So narration is a great way to feed information to your readers slowly so it really take it in. Appreciate. It becomes more enjoyable on by feeding information it could be. Maybe they your character has a fear of something, and there's a scene where maybe they have to jump in the water and save someone. You know, that they've had a bad experience with swimming. Maybe you know the parents through the men at the deep end, Ah, when they were Children and it was a horrible experience. And it's a great way to feed that information to the reader without going on for, you know, pages and pages saying, Oh yeah, when they were young, their parents through them and it could even be a way that you can get into the inner thoughts And maybe they're thinking, Oh, boy. Now you know. So until it's drowning, I'm their only hope. I'm the only person here, but my fear is water on. And, um, you know, I've got to go in there, all that they're going to die. So that's one example how you can feed information slowly to the reader through narration, you know, saying that they were on the edge of the like water and their legs were shaking and they were remembering back to when they were three and Dad throw in the depended swimming pool on It was the, you know, most horrible experience, their hearts pounding, great way to build a scene, make it really enjoyable for your reader and pull all the elements together. So that's one thing that you can do with narration, and I encourage you to do that with moderation is Teoh. Use that to feed the information slowly to the reader, So that's about it for a while, the things I'm gonna cover on oration, but in the wrap up lesson in the next lesson, I'm going to go over a few more things on let you know what coming next in this novel blue print cloth. So I'll see you then 5. Wrap-Up: Hello, Welcome back. And here we are at the wrap up lesson off this month's class on. I just wanted to add that one thing narration can also do is I like to think it adds a liar of color. If you were filming your story in black and white, I think narration would give it that extra punch of, you know, adding color. Another dimension. So there again, I think it's a very important aspect of the story telling process on DA one last thing that I wanted to suggest it. If you are having trouble making the transitions from one scene to another one chapter to another, I'm not sure where the generation fits or it sounds right is to read it out loud. That's one thing that I always do, and sometimes you can pick up on problems fairly easy, you know, without much so you can kind of here where things are going wrong. We're going right on. That's the case for all of the story. When I finish my first draft, I usually will read most of it out loud. It sounds strange, but you really get a feel for the rhythm off the words and the sentences, and I think it almost acts like a inner editor for you, ready for that second draft? So that's my final tip. This month on your class project is to kind of apply the tips that I've given you this month. And if you've got scenes that need joining together, work on how you convey, put in that smooth transition from one scene to another. Or maybe you want to work on one chapter to another. So it gives it that nice, smooth read that I talked about this this month and be sure to hit the follow button so you could be notified when I upload next month's classes. And I will be uploading a lot more writing classes towards the end of the summer and into fall. Which brings up another topic is if you have any suggestions for writing classes, there's a problem that you're facing with your writing, and you think it would make a good class. Then I'd be, you know, happy to hear about that and think about putting together a class specifically for that topic. So, um, contact May, And if you have any questions about narration or any other questions for, you know, the other classes, any aspect of novel writing. Then I'm here to help. Just leave a comment, get in touch, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can on DSO What's coming up next month? Well, two vital things. Conflict and emotion. Two suspects that every story needs on. It's something that, um, I kind of overlooked at the beginning of my career, and I think had I have caught on earlier, I probably would have been published a lot quicker than I Waas. So that's why I want Teoh devote a whole class to conflict and emotion. So you get it right and get to the publish finish line a lot quicker than I did. So that's what's coming up next month. And finally, I want to thank you very much for taking this class and other classes. I really appreciate that. Andi, Um, please take care and I'll see you again next month. Happy writing by