Guest Post: Book Doctor Talks Narrative Voice

Writing advice for the self-publishing author

Q: Where can I find the guidelines about how formal or informal the narrative should be?

A: I cannot point to one specific source for formal versus informal writing, except that slang, contractions, dialect, and clichés are informal, whereas most narrative should be formal. That said, I used an informal narrative style in my own book, Write In Style, including contractions, because I wanted the book to reflect my personality and be upbeat, friendly, and not too textbook-like. It’s important to know the guidelines and break them only for a specific reason, such as when the narrative intentionally reflects the voice of a specific narrator.


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Bobbie Christmas, book editor, author of Write In Style (Union Square Publishing), and owner of Zebra Communications, will answer your questions, too. Send them to Bobbie@zebraeditor.com. Read more “Ask the Book Doctor” questions and answers at http://www.zebraeditor.com.

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