How to Get Published Step 3: The Narrative

1461720444-ec11cf875535c9a7011100380e02348bThis is where things can get a bit tricky for new writers so I’ll try to be as detailed as possible. There are two different extremes of narratives and they’re both terrible: ones that tell the story but don’t embellish on any details and ones that read more like poetry with more flowery language than how someone would actually think.

My third piece of advice is: Don’t try too hard to make your narrative voice unique. It’s true that finding your own style can be important but you may end up alienating a lot of your readers if you don’t use common, or at least a balanced vocabulary. Experimentation is important and if this is your first book, there is no better place to start. Just write and see what happens.

Be it first person or third person, the best thing you can do is try to get into the head of the character and find their voice instead of your own. This way each character will have their own individuality, although I would say to limit this in third person so that the overall narrative is more approachable. No one likes everything but that doesn’t mean you can’t make things hard to dislike.

I can’t emphasize how important it is to start writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, you have to start eventually if you’re going to get published, end of story. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Second guessing yourself will be your worst enemy so try to shut it out and just write that first scene. Read more for an example.


Step 2: The Scene
In a palace, a rabbit-like fantasy race celebrates victory over a second lizard-like fantasy race with the help of a mysterious third race. One of the Rabbit-like people follows a man from the third race through a doorway, discovering that the third race is from a future earth where humans have been interfering with distant planets through superior technology.

Expand Scene through a Narrative Voice
Ask yourself who the main character is, what they’ve been through and the attitude that drives them to where they are going. In this scene I’m going to try to play with the roles between Alice and the Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland for the two main characters in this scene.

Step 3: The Narrative

Even through the revelry, Cuspphire still picked up the warbling noise that no one else seemed to hear. She looked around the packed hall from high up on the outer seats. Long ears rose and fell, twitching and spinning above the fury crowd. On the walls, spiraling candle holders lit the tall wooden columns, their flickering light covering the large paintings of the Reharen countryside. Discussion in the hall was a mix of cheer, smug general-after-the-battle discussions but all had a tone that worked to verbally pat each other on the back. Roars of laughter were echoed with the thumps from their respective feet. The word ‘Scaley’ came up a lot, the name of the foes her parents had just defeated, their victory thanks to one man.

Whatever race Lord Reg was, Cuspphire had never seen anyone like him. He stood in the corner of the hall in a long, white coat. He wasn’t a Scaley, he didn’t have scales, but aside from the top of his head, his dark fur was so thin that it barely covered his smooth, pale skin. He also had ears, but they were so tiny she couldn’t imagine that he would hear much with them. His legs were unfit for jumping and he relied the majority of his reality on those odd eyes of his, but somehow he had been the deciding factor in the fight between the Reharen and the Scaleys. How this came to be was something only the top hares of each warren knew and was considered a closely regard secret. However, as daughter of one of these top bunnies, she had been privy to clues that had only made her more curious…

Lord Reg casually followed the outer seats around revelers, climbing them to where she sat, a big ugly smile of his stubby-whiskered face before he sat down next to her. “Cus, how are you, my dear?”

Her nose twitched at the nickname he had given her. It had been picked up by everyone else the warren. She didn’t dislike it. “I feel I should be happy, everyone else is, but I’m not.”

“Did my involvement cheapen this occasion for you?” he asked.

Head bowed, ears up, she could hear the friendly nature behind his question. “You’re such a nice person, but so secretive. When are you going to tell everyone what you did?”

“You really want to know?” He sniffed loudly, something she thought he picked up from us. “To explain it to you would need to understand the reptiles ecology, that they are cold blooded, that they can smell with their tongues.”

“You speak with many words I don’t understand. You’re not one of us, you’re not from here, so why would you help us?”

He stood and patted her head. He seemed to like doing that. “We’re both mammals, aren’t we?”

He moved off, skipping down the seats. Does he really think moving like that would help him fit in here… or is he just happy about something? 

Something in his voice had screamed at her that these would be his final words to her. As soon as she realized this, she jumped up and hopped down the seats after him. She still had so many questions for him. She had to push through the masses, skinny bunnies, fat hares and kits younger than she was.

As the tall Lord turned a corner to exit the hall, she was stopped in her tracks by her parents. Her mother’s dark eyes were questioning. “Where are you rushing off to, Cus? If you leave now you’re going to miss your father’s speech.”

“Okay.” She skidded around them. “I’ll be back soon.”

Her mother’s nose twitched in concern. “Well okay, but don’t be late!”

“I won’t!” she called back as she dash out of the hall and down the corridor she had seen Lord Reg leave by.

She looked around, her ears picking up the sound of quick footfalls heading to her left. She chased the noise until she came to a part of the palace she had never been before. The long wooden floors seemed like a maze to her but she kept to Lord Reg’s footfalls.

She heard the warbling noise again as well, getting louder. It was coming from the same direction as his footsteps.

“Reg? Are you down here?” She turned a corner and there he was looking at what to her look like a pocket watch.

He heard her as soon as he opened a door from the corridor, looking up with a troubled look on his face. “Go back to your parents dear.”

Panic filled Cuspphire as she noticed long tails of glowing mist reach out from the door he had opened. They’re going to suck him in!

She rushed forward to grab him and it felt like an impossibly strong wind was pulling at her fur. Lord Reg’s hand shot out and he tried to push her away from it but they were both caught in the pull of mist. The last thing she heard as the two of them were sucked through the door into the swirling mists, was the slamming of the door behind them.

The world Cuspphire opened her eyes to was not the world she had come from.

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