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Are You Talking To Me?


In poetic literature you will often find a poem that seems to be inviting the reader to participate in an adventure or a love story. The use of ‘you’ is evident in the poetry, but in most cases the reader understands that the poem is written to a third party and the author is simply allowing you the opportunity to read these moments of intimate conversation.

Possessives in poetry, marked by an apostrophe, are a way to understand that the poem is written for and to another person – even when written from a first person perspective.

There is, however, a unique form of writing called Authorial Intrusion that will find the author breaking away from the storyline and speaking directly to the reader. This technique is sometimes used to take a work of fiction and make it seem somehow real. This is accomplished when the storyteller breaks from the action to talk directly with you.

Authorial Intrusion can also be used in poetry and is used extensively in persuasive essays. In fact, in essays Authorial Intrusion is often used as a means of allowing a personal voice of persuasion to assist in the point being argued.

You can see the use of Authorial Intrusions in old detective movies where they step out of the shadows and talk to the audience about what they are thinking. This particular adaptation has been used for comic effect in recent years as it has been used extensively in film parodies.

As film and fiction writing have matured the use of Authorial Intrusion has diminished. Sometimes Authorial Intrusions make a work seem amateurish simply because the audience is informed of an impending scenario just before the scenario plays out. It can come across as redundant and unnecessary.

Here’s a short example of Authorial Intrusion…

Ben had assumed there was nothing to fear on the plateau, but he didn’t see the grizzly bear approaching from behind.”

This particular example really isn’t needed in the context of the story. If the story is indeed Ben’s then allow the reader to experience the emotions Ben has when he makes the surprising discovery.

In the case of fiction writing Authorial Intrusions should be minimal in a worst-case scenario and eliminated altogether in a perfect world. When you choose a Point of View in which to tell the story it is best to allow that voice to remain as consistent as possible throughout the narrative.

Submitted by:

Scott Lindsay

Scott Lindsay is a web developer and entrepreneur. He is the founder of FaithWriters (http://www.faithwriters.com) and many other web projects. FaithWriters has grown to become one of the largest online destinations for Christian writers. Please visit the website at: http://www.faithwriters.com





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