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Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel Revised and Expanded Edition, 2nd Edition by Sara Paretsky, Hallie Ephron

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Chapter 15

Narrative Voice and Viewpoint

“I think point of view is a bugaboo for many beginning writers because so many terrifying things have been said about it. It is entirely a matter of feeling comfortable in the writing, the question of through whose eyes you should tell the story.”

—Patricia Highsmith, Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction

Writing is all about making choices, and one of the first choices you make when you sit down to write is who narrates. Which characters will get to tell their version of what happened? Will you be in one character’s head throughout, or will you let several characters speak to the reader?

When you read a Sherlock Holmes story, you get Watson’s version of events. Stephanie Plum puts her pungent spin on ...

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