Characters and Viewpoint Themes

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The Necessity for Justification

Throughout the book, the author repeatedly makes the point that no matter what choice the writer/storyteller makes in creating and defining his/her narrative, that choice has to feel "justified." This, he writes, is important on two levels. The first is that of logic, in that the pieces of a narrative puzzle have to fit together. Events and reactions to those events have to lead one into the other, questions must be answered and answers must have questions (this is particularly true, he suggests, of mystery and/or suspense narratives), and the basic rules of the world (milieu) in which the story takes place must be followed. This last point is not made to suggest that the writer/storyteller cannot create his/her own rules for a narrative, but rather to point out that whatever rules are established must be adhered to. In short...

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