I need some opinions. I'm writing on a project (hopefully a book) with an omniscient narrator, but I'm thinking of having narrator actually communicate with the characters. I know it's really odd and a bit too experimental, but I have a reason behind this. The book itself is about (well, it's more specific than this, but I'm not going to give away specifics in case my concepts are stolen [I'm sure none of the writers on /lit/ would honestly blame me]) grief and lack of closure (or the delay of closure), and I'm thinking I want an omniscient narrator that's the manifestation of the collective grief of the characters in the narrative. So in this case, I think the narrator speaking to the characters might actually work, even sometimes speaking to the reading (ie, talking to the reader in actual imperative verbs).
Is this a bad choice? I mean, obviously I'm still going to through with it, but I'd still like to hear some thoughts on the matter. The only other instance where I can think of a 3rd person narrator speaking to a character is Ironweed by William Kennedy.
you're being kind of a faggot
you want us to help you but because you think your idea might be "stolen" (seriously OP, i'm sure whatever you have going has been done before and much better if it relies on some gimmick that can't be revealed to us) you give no context as to why that choice would make any sense and so we really can't be fucked to think about it
you wont get around giving your narrator some sort of character then and i question the technique of having an omniscient narrator without an environment.
there are some examples that could be used to accomplish that:
have the "narrator" be a charcter writing the story
make the author a character that includes personal thoughts and stuff into his book like ads. there is an example in the work of moers but i don't know if this specific example actually has an english translation, it's called "yarnspinners deviation" where he basically goes along the lines:
"does that bore you dear reader? well how about i tell you a story about a dry loaf of bread instead that sits on it's shelf in the back of a bakery and doesn't mold so you know what real boredom is. so listen up you dipshit this is important"
and then goes on with the story
the example is "ensel und krete" basically a re-tell of the german fairytale "hänsel un gretel" but on lsd with devitions into substance-abuse, politics, phobias and so on.
1st person speak to other characters in dialogue. I'm trying to write a narrator in 3rd person omniscient (now, if you don't know, there are TWO types of 3rd person narrators, omniscient and limited. Limited is focused on one character, could almost be 1st person except more reliable [1st person narrators are always unreliable], and omniscient know everything, what all the characters are thinking/feeling). I'm saying the narrator speak to the characters in NARRATION. What you're thinking of is DIALOGUE. Narration is the opposite.
But like I said, I'm thinking the narrator is a manifestation of collective grief. Technically the narrator is ALL of the characters but much more objective than the characters themselves. I don't believe that narrators have to be grounded to the narrative themselves, ie characters themselves. Omniscient narrators are pretty much unexplained figures in fiction. It'd be narrow to clean them observers, and much too broad to call them characters. This is why I feel omniscient narrators are tricky (while 1st persons are most useful, 3rd person-limited aren't quite as unreliable as 1st, and 2nd person is just interesting depending on how you use them).
There's a sense of surrealism to it I'm trying for, but the literary goal I'm going for honesty and (as I like to put it) making it fucking matter.
well in that case it's kinda simple:
>>...<< The grief in all of them said
>>Whow that sucks<< There was the grief again.
you basically write down the thoughts of everyone in a particular scene and make "the grief" a non-antropomorphisised (is that a word) - character
A limited 3rd person narrator is grounded to only one character. That doesn't mean perspective can't change, but this still means the narrator is going on that one perspective. Omniscient 3rd, no matter how many character focuse-changes, it still knows everything (the story, collective thought, objectivity).
What I'm looking to do is almost 1st person, in the way a 1st person narrator talks to itself. For instance: If only I'd just given him the package. In 3rd limited: if only he'd just given him the package. In my omniscience: if only you'd just given him the package; now this looks a lot like 2nd person, except the narrator is speaking directly to the character physically. In fact, the narrator probably doesn't even fucking know he's being spoken to. Think of an omniscient narrator as God, if that helps. That's the best example I can give.
Also, narration is what isn't dialogue. In other words, if it's isn't in quotation marks, it's narration.
But the issue is that it's broken apart by character focuses (perspectives would he the wrong word, given the omniscience). The point is to drop clues that each perspective is connected by the same grief. Flat out saying (at each interval per character) "they were feeling this way" would be redundant. There all feeling/dealing with this grief in all different ways, so this collective narrator is communicating with each character according to their understandings of the matter. It's really all a matter of distribution between the narrator and character.