N is for Narrated by the Narrator | #AtoZChallenge


The speaker or voice who is telling the story.

Narrator and narrative (a collection of events that are linked together in a particular order to tell a story) lead into point of view and types of fiction.

Point of View (POV)

The angle of vision from which the story is narrated” (Glossary of Fiction Terms, Online Learning Center, highered.mheducation.com).

First person

  • Written from the perspective of “I” (first-person singular) or “we” (first-person plural).
  • The narrator is either an observer or a character in the story.

Second person

  • Written from the perspective of “you.” You become the main character.
  • Often used in advertising but also in fiction.

Third-person limited

  • Written from the perspective of “he” or “she.”
  • The perspective is limited to the thoughts, knowledge, and perceptions of only one person.
  • The narrator is outside the character but looking over the shoulder, into the mind, or through the eyes of the single character to tell the story, while also having the ability to pull back and offer a wider perspective.

See also Indirect Discourse in Third-Person POV.

Third-person omniscient

  • Written from the perspective of “he” or “she.”
  • The narrator has the God-like ability to go into any character’s head and to travel to any time, place, or setting that other characters cannot see or do not have information about.
  • The narrator is a sort of disembodied character with his own voice, personality, and style, distinct from the characters in the story.


The Basics of Point of View for Fiction Writers, Joseph Bates, janefriedman.com

This is an excellent post with detailed descriptions, examples, and especially pros and cons of each type of POV.

The 4 Types of Point of View, Joe Bunting, thewritepractice.com

How to Write From Third Person Limited Point of View, Ginny Wiehardt, thebalance.com

Glossary of Literary Terms, buzzle.com

Novel, Novella, Novelette, and Nom de Plume

Further to the narrative and the narrator’s POV, we have the novel, novella, and novelette. Sometimes the author has a nom de plume, which is a pen name–not the author’s real name.

As a rule of thumb, word counts look like this:


40,000 words or more according to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (Wikipedia), although some sites say 50,000. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) requires novels to be at least 50,000 words. Adult novels typically run in the range of 80,000-120,000 words.

  • Adult commercial and literary novel: 80,000 to 100,000 words is considered safest.
  • Science fiction and fantasy: Because of world-building, these novels run higher. Up to 115,000 words is considered good.
  • Thrillers: can also be well over 100,000.

Due to budget constraints faced by publishers, it is safest to stay within the 90,000 to 100,000-word range, especially with a first novel.


  • 17,500 to 39,999 (some sites say 20,000-50,000, a popular length for e-publishing).


  • 7,500 to 17,499 words.

IRONCLAD is a novelette. (Supernatural adventure, releasing in fall 2017.)Β 

Short Story

  • Under 7,500 words.

For information on micro-fiction, flash fiction, short-shorts, and short story lengths, view here.

Young Readers

  • Young adult: 55,000-79,999 words.
  • Middle grade: 20,000-55,000, depending on age.
  • Children’s chapter books: start around 16,000.


Word count, Wikipedia: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, NaNoWriMo

Word Count for Novels and Children’s Book: The Definitive Post, Chuck Sambino, Writer’s Digest

Typical Lengths of Fictional Works, Jodie Renner (author, editor, presenter), jodierennerediting.blogspot.com

See also

Novel Length and Formats by MladenR on Writer to Writers (added May 11, 2017)

All the posts: Components of Literature A to Z

Check out N is for Never on Tossing It Out

About Eva Blaskovic

I am a multi-genre author of literary fiction, fantasy, and paranormal, and writer of non-fiction articles on parenting, writing, education, health, and travel. My background encompasses both the sciences and the arts. I teach at a specialized clinic for learning disorders and mentor young authors. In addition to writing and teaching, my passions are weather, Indian food, gardening, and music. I have played eight musical instruments and spent many years immersed in taekwondo and karate. In my youth, I was an avid canoeist. I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, grew up in the Great Lakes region of Ontario, Canada, and moved to Alberta in 1988, where I raised four children.
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12 Responses to N is for Narrated by the Narrator | #AtoZChallenge

  1. The N possibilities seem almost endless — like the Cs. I think I could do a whole month of C. My N word is Narrative. It’s been gestating in my head for weeks, since long before I heard of the A to Z Challenge, but I haven’t had time to write it. (Hah. More like I was afraid I couldn’t do it justice.) Now I’m off to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Theme Reveal: Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2017) | Beyond the Precipice

  3. clicksclan says:

    I think it’s a great exercise to try writing in a different point of view to the one you usually write in. I once experimented with writing a story in second person perspective. That was good fun. πŸ™‚

    Cait @ Click’s Clan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it’s an excellent exercise. I write in 3rd person limited and 1st person, typically, but I’ve played with 2nd person. I’ve also taken a 3rd person piece and converted to 1st person, and vice-versa.

      I’ve done the same with verb tenses. I can write the same piece in present or past tense. (I’ve even toyed with future, especially 2nd person.)

      Verb tense and 1st/3rd person switches are exercises I’ve given to students.


  4. jazzfeathers says:

    Great breakdown of info about narration. Very useful πŸ™‚

    The Old Shelter – 1940s Film Noir

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: P is for Pathos and Deep POV | #AtoZChallenge | Beyond the Precipice

  6. Pingback: Indirect Discourse in Third-Person Limited POV | Beyond the Precipice

  7. I mostly prefer first person when have something important to deduce or convey.

    My 50K Nona 2016 Work has now come down to 40K after edit. A lot might still get edited! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. JJAzar says:

    Great reference here. As is most all of this post series!

    Liked by 1 person

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