Regarding a Narrator Series and of Known and Unnamed Narrators

Narration is a fundamental part of storytelling. It shapes the story, creates the mood, explains details otherwise not noticed or mentioned by the story. By focusing on particular events and telling a story it explains the events leading up to that point, often also explaining why they are relevant. Narration is essential, I’ve read it before and experienced it myself in different mediums. A great deal of stories wouldn’t have as much impact without proper narrative. It is with the same idea in mind that I wish to recreate something similar to narrative via writing – such project is the Narration Series.

As with other series I wish to stress the recurring declaration that each category is specifically given a purpose and so likewise the way they are worded, the tone, and what the focus is varies from category to category. I do not believe that a writer has to be restricted to a single style of writing or limited to a sole routine to vent the creative input. Experiment Series are cause and effect proving and disproving the effects of watching shows in bizarre ways opposed to what is considered typical. Commentaries are informal basic thoughts around specific episodes or scenes with always with an idea in mind. What the X Season Is Based on Names is the act of playing with titles in amusing ways by focusing on literal meanings rather than what they are supposed to mean, ramblings more humorous than serious. So and so forth.

Depending who tells the story the details and the impressions given and found within a story dramatically change. The reason behind it is that every person has a different point of view and so it visibly changes from person to person and from character to character. For example, a story from a young man would be vastly different than from a man of old age. A story from a bird’s POV would greatly vary from a human. Because they are fundamentally different they view the world in different ways.

With personal POV comes preferences, beliefs, and everything else that makes up a person defining who they are. The result is a POV that could be similar yet that cannot exactly be (word by word) the same as another person even in the case everyone was to experience the same events. Mine would greatly vary from another person and that other person would greatly vary from the next person to him. The more similar they are the closer their perceptions of the events also are, and so the opposite also applies. Call it dissimilar, call it polar opposite, call it using symbols of not being the same as =/=, what it means is people posses different points of view from one another and the experience of a story is based on the narrator.

There is also the importance of context and the order in which elements are introduced within a story, and the narrator doing the due part of explaining them. I could say, “deep blue sky in the summer” and I could say “bonsai tree” for no apparent reason. Bonsai tree alone doesn’t mean anything unless I explain what I think of bonsai trees. On one hand, it could be assumed I find them to be intriguing wonders of nature. On another hand, it could be assumed I find the idea of little trees to be strangely comically eerie. Lastly, a deep blue sky in summer is one of the most memorable things I remember – however, was I not to add such statements into the context the actual significance will be regrettably lost. Context matters as well as the connection the narrator builds with the audience by shaping up and guiding how the readers react to the certain elements and narrative within the story.

Narration is much personal. The way a story is constructed focuses in a particular point of view of the world around. Unless there are multiple narrators telling the story, a single story or event is fundamentally told through an individual’s eyes. Say, I don’t believe in A as an element but I believe in B and C then B and C will be included by A likely won’t. Say, I know nothing about A as an element but am aware of B and C then B and C will be included while A again won’t because its existence as an actual factor has not officially registered. Such details are what form a person’s point of view of the world at any given time. It’s not about what they know or don’t, but rather those details are what form their unquestionable impossible to duplicate personal point of view, their unique POV becoming the story in essence.

To provide an example, if we were to round up 25 people and had them all watch the same movie in separate rooms, hardly of all of them would have the same opinion of the film. Some might have liked it, others disliked it, and others might have hardly watched it while others might have not pay attention at all. Lastly, a final group might have walked out within the first 10 minutes to have a real say in the matter. When they are required to answer a couple of questions about their experience they will answer depending on their personal point of view. The point is never what is right or wrong as answers, the point is what each individual believes to be the response to those questions.

Narration is comparable to this in the sense that it is the process of providing a personal answers and commentary to each theoretical question. Delving into the world of stories the individual finds that as a medium there are as many fictional stories as there are factual ones. There is no actual restriction that a story has to be completely realistic to be a story or that to be fiction it has to lack real events in its entirety. If is possible that the most fascinating and sublime stories can be stories made up by a person’s imagination instead actual events.

In doing so the individual also explores the difference and differentiates between facts and opinions. Saying it is completely sunny on a day with a blazing sun is an indisputable fact as it cannot be snowing at the same time. Saying a person doesn’t enjoy windy days is an opinion seeing other might do. A fact is not an opinion but rather the assertion of something has been proven and accepted to be true and it is so presented as the truth. Something that is deemed to be a fact cannot be an opinion and an opinion cannot be considered to be a fact.

However, this not always the case for the narrator for whoever tells the story can pass opinions as facts at times without any warning. That is why the audience has to be astute and differentiate between the two. That is why be aware of the unreliable narrator, that not all details in narrative are completely real despite events, characters, and elements included being authentic. And so in such cases it happens that the fictional elements of the story eventually catch up with the reader making him doubt the veracity of the original story, same as in a similar manner a viewer questions the authenticity of a movie advertized as based on a true story. Reason being, after seeing how the powers of movie-making and script-writing made an otherwise over-the-top and messy chain of events be presented as neatly as possible, making such claims appear exaggerated.

Overstating is close to being the right word when it comes to real stories that appear fictional because of hard to believe elements. Saying a person hasn’t eaten in a month sounds arguable, while saying a person hasn’t drunk water in a year sounds downright fallacious. Saying a person saw another float across the room without touching the floor once sounds unreal. The idea of misconceptions or miscalculations. There are stories that might be genuine in its own way while possessing some fiction elements for a more powerful impact. The major part is that the veracity of any story told is limited to the person’s telling the story, how much the narrator knows, and how much does the reader know this person. For all that is known there is room for human error in the narration that led the narrator to such conclusions. Why, this is also possible because an individual makes errors and is not all seeing to consider all possible known and unknown elements around him. Would a narrator be able to do just that its POV would become a report rather than an honest, in its own way, retelling of events.

The topic of the invisible audience and story-telling. Yes, the idea of an invisible audience that follows the narrator. Does the narrator start its usual internal monologue then the audience appears later or does an audience automatically appears the moment the narrator starts to tell a story? In its most standard explanation from the point of view of the person writing the story the idea is that an invisible audience (which is in reality the reader) is always present when the narrator tells a story, therefore the writer makes the narration with that idea in mind.

Yes that is correct. Nonetheless, what we denote here is also something slightly different from that idea – we present the idea of “a narrator without an audience”.

Consider the following, a popular speaker has a seminar that will go on for two hours, one person from the audience arrives thirty minutes late therefore missing the first half an hour minutes. The amount that speaker has been speaking to the audience has not changed in the least. Though a person from the audience has not been present for the first thirty minutes the speaker has still been speaking for two hours. Now, consider that the speaker has decided to start thirty minutes early but still plans on speaking for the next original two hours. Now the original member from the audience who arrived late has not only missed the first thirty minutes but he has also missed an extra thirty minutes of the seminar. Similarly, in addition a small group who arrived late we also now have a group from the audience who arrived on time but didn’t get to hear the extra thirty minutes. Now, there’s only a third group who arrived before the seminar officially started who managed to catch this bonus discussion. Finally, consider that the same speaker always rehearses twenty minutes before beginning his seminar to a totally empty coliseum. To put it into fewer words – this is what we mean.

Putting in perspective all of these multiple scenarios are caused because the narrator was always present but the whole audience wasn’t. In the first example the idea is a small part from the audience may be absent, however, there is still an audience. In the second example, the regular planned audience arrives on time but stills misses part of the speech, however despite missing those extra thirty minutes, in theory they haven’t missed anything they should. In some cases they might have not even noticed they missed anything at all. The final case explains the paradox of “a narrator without an audience.” The speaker might be rehearsing his speech to an invisible audience but just the same he might also be rehearsing an alternative version of the speech only meant for himself. In this sense, there can be a narrator without an audience.

Now let us compare both the idea of the official narrator whose narration is meant to be heard by an audience and the informal narrator whose narration is a product of spontaneous internal monologues. For the official narrator in a story events are narrated to an audience, however, for the informal narrator the case is different. The reason behind it is that it is not like the individual expects his observations of the world or those of just another typical day to be heard by anyone other than himself. They are after all his. An actual POV of an individual is personal in nature which is given and is limited to the narrator. A narrative that is literary is written and intended to be always followed by an invisible audience in mind. The POV, a narrative, that has no specific spectators, which is created without the idea of an audience following the narrative and delivered without an audience in mind, is what I refer to as the idea of a narrator without an audience.

If so how can there be a narrator without an audience – is the question. An individual can think of events in details that would in paper equal 2,000 words, however it would still be a hypothetical number that equals zero, that is, until they are recorded in the first place. A draft that is written but is never published or read by anyone has no real audience other than the writer same as the famous speaker who rehearses to an empty auditorium. For a more concrete example, even this entry would not exist and consequently would not be read, had not the ‘publish’ button been pressed in the first place, by any other than the writer.

We explain such effect as the type of writing in which there is essentially no real audience other than the narrator in mind. One where the emphasis isn’t heavily placed on the spectators around the narrator for the narrator does not as much plan for an audience to listen to such internal discourses. It is similar to asking a person how their day was. Surely, the individual who was asked had some discussions and thoughts about details within his day, however, he neither shares them all nor he recalls them with full accuracy. What the individual does instead is to recall certain details throughout the day then pick the most significant, in some cases those more relevant to the person who asked, to quench the curiosity of the other person. In return the other individual will response to the overall answers with follow-up questions or a civilized nod. In all of this the person who was asked the question recall the events of the day, however, he doesn’t as much as exactly repeats word by word explaining the whole train of thoughts in between events. What happens is that the person deliverers a reasonable retelling of the events in additional to personal commentary to each event. All the internal monologues transpiring between events are effectively condensed into a humanly intelligible summary and delivered with a person in mind, similar to an impromptu speech where the narration is deliberately done not in the least planned.

Consider then act of narration in its purest sense – narrator of a dream in which the only audience is the dreamer where the individual is unconsciously watching, explaining, and narrating the events, sometimes all combined. When a person dreams he is either in the dream as himself, another character, or as a figure outside the dream, nevertheless remains all seeing as if the events are told by an omniscient narrator. The process is done subconsciously as the individual doesn’t ask for the events to be explained yet they are. They simply happen and the individual understands the situation via these subtle explanations and cryptic messages. Inherently, despite not everything being explained, the individual understands to a degree.

Internal monologues that all individuals have are neither always logical to any other than the narrator nor as articulate as narrator makes them out to be. For some without editing anything they write would be hardly legible, like a case of a bad translation, all the humorous moments included. What we mean in addition to the standard narration is more along the lines of raw narration emphasizing internal dialogues of the narrator. The idea of an audience-less narrator, if you will, in addition to the customary narrator who can also make its appearance every now and then in such expressive series.

Stories come from all types of inspirations. They can be hard down-to-earth realistic retelling of events or they can be filled with fiction brought forth by natural boredom of a creative mind. Such scenarios are also probable. It’s not uncommon to adorn a story with bits of fiction to write a more interesting cohesive story. Similarly, it is not uncommon to pay greater attention to specific details the narrator finds important. Such things are left to the discretion of whoever tells the story namely the otherwise named or unnamed narrator. All things considered – narration – is considered the edited revised version of the events and the narrator’s train of thought suitably created for an audience to tell a story.

Finally, the expected topic of aggrandizing and exaggeration to end the significant topic of narration. Because where would stories be without a hint of embellishment to moist a dry story. Exaggeration, the word alone has a negative connotation by default, however, it should not always, and the case can be far from it when used correctly. Story-telling is the narrator’s main focus and this is where the act of aggrandizing finds its home. It is so that exaggeration can have a positive impact in narration rather than the negative when embellishment is used to explain a situation in a more detail thus to entertain the audience rather than confuse the matter. The great part is that usually the audience can tell between the narrator is being causal, factual, or humorous with such remarks to prove its point. It is so then a plus the audience can differentiates between facts and fiction in narration when they appear. This is a reasonable speculation, same as for the case that an individual realizes without much surprise that a beverage advertized as the world’s best wine may not, in fact, be the world’s best, notwithstanding of still great quality.

To drive a point home, in addition to all mention factors, exaggeration can be also be a powerful complement to narrative. One that emphasizes what the narrator means, one that refreshes and adds a mysterious effect on an ordinary world, powering its words. In some ways it is better to say, “That day, a deep color took over the sky, bathing it with a primary color that was neither red nor yellow” than to say in a droning manner “It was plenty sunny alright.”

What exact words to pick, what words sound better than others, what would make a more interesting story, what makes a more powerful narration. To explain these events to an invisible audience. To narrate multiple events according to a narrator’s personal POV to the best of its abilities. To narrate stories and to read stories from a known and unspecific unnamed narrator. To narrate of fantastic stories of reality and fiction, exciting stories, factual events, anecdotes, mundanities, rational, and improbabilities. All is good.

– (K)eikakudoori

Advertisements