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Discourse can be further broken down into order (or the succession in which the events are presented to a reader), duration (or the temporal relationship between story and discourse/ how much story-time is being presented at any given moment of the discourse, which can be anywhere from a thousand years to a few seconds), voice (or narratorial point of view and style), frequency (or the way in which discourse presents repetition within a narrative or, itself, repeats the presentation of an event that only happened once), and potentially focalization (or the character[s] through whom the narrative is “seen”).
Is the narrator a reliable witness or lying to themselves or the reader?
In the novel "Gone Girl," by Gillian Flynn, the reader is forced to constantly revise her opinion as to the honesty and guilt of the husband Nick and his missing wife.
Writers also use the grammatical strategies of tense (past, present, future), person (first person, second person, third person), number (singular, plural) and voice (active, passive).
Writing in the present tense is unsettling—the narrators have no idea what will happen next—while past tense can build in some foreshadowing.
Writers define space and time in a descriptive narrative, and how they choose to define those characteristics can convey a specific mood or tone.
For example, chronological choices can affect the reader's impressions.In "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov, the narrator is Humbert Humbert, a pedophile who constantly justifies his actions despite the damage that Nabokov illustrates he's doing.Establishing a point of view for a narrator allows the writer to filter the events through a particular character.They might help you remember or identify a particularly interesting or significant experience to focus on.Telling stories is an ancient art that started long before humans invented writing.The Harry Potter novels, for example, are all written in third person; that narrator knows everything about everybody but is unknown to us.The other extreme is a story with a first-person point of view in which the narrator is a character within that story, relating events as they see them and with no visibility into other character motivations.In other words, we can't look at the painting and immediately say "that's a house" or "that's a bowl of fruit." To the untrained eye, abstract art looks a bit like a child's finger-painting--just brightly colored splotches on a canvas. Avoid abstract language—it won’t help the reader understand what you're trying to say! Concrete: The sun was shining and a slight breeze blew across my face. Concrete: I liked writing short, rhythmic poems and hated rambling on about my thoughts in those four-page essays. Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" is an example of this: Jane relates her experiences of the mysterious Mr.Rochester to us directly, not revealing the full explanation until "Reader, I married him." Points of view can also be effectively shifted throughout a piece—in her novel "Keys to the Street," Ruth Rendell used limited third-person narratives from the point of view of five different characters, enabling the reader to assemble a coherent whole out of what first appears to be unrelated stories.