Definitions of Narrative Personas
- According to Ernest Hemingway, the writer’s job is “to sit in front of the page and bleed”. But it’s not the person in flesh-and-blood who is there in the page, but a persona called the narrator, who steps in for him or her. I’m the one who signs the book for you when it’s published.
- The narrator lives on the page, within and between the words, the images, and the dialogue, and directs the characters, as if they were marionnettes, performing at the end of strings. Although they may share lots of qualities, the narrator is not exactly the writer, even in a memoir. This fact, once the writer acknowledges it, may result in a sense of freedom, benefiting the writing as a result.
- The Character: A main character is called the protagonist. The character’s job is to enthrall the reader and s/he is always integral to the plot. Dialogue spoken by a character will advance the plot and, at its best, utilise or suggest a certain voice that is basic to the meaning and rationale of the text.
The Writer is not the Narrator and the Narrator is not the Writer
So where is the narraTor in this? Concealed behind the writer and the characters, and linked to voice.