Writing: Voice and Breaking the Fourth Wall

Voice is the basis of writing. This is mostly applied in fiction novels when creating characters’ personalities, which can then apply to their character arc. The best way to keep readers’ attention is through an interesting voice.

I find that children’s books tend to apply voices that are very relatable to kids (Percy Jackson, anyone?). I’ve been reading A Series of Unfortunate Events of late and really enjoy the way Lemony Snicket draws a reader through “breaking the fourth wall.”

What the heck is breaking the fourth wall? It doesn’t require any actual breaking, thankfully, but when it is used properly, you’ve got yourself a great voice.

Breaking the fourth wall is a trope usually used in books and TV, where the main character deliberately talks to the reader/viewer to interact with them–usually to address their fictionality or provide comedy; and, in the case of Percy Jackson and A Series of Unfortunate Events, ask a reader not to go on reading for a certain reason. It “breaks” the barrier between author, director, actor, narrator, or whatever it is that you’re working with.

As mentioned before, this technique is rarely used. It would have to be extremely well done in order to actually gain an audience’s attention. It’s one of many great ways to use your creativity and write using a unique, crisp voice!

If you want some examples, I suggest you check out the 1st chapters of The Lightning Thief (PJO) and A Bad Beginning (ASoUE).

That’s all for today. We’ll be posting more bookish stuff for you all soon.

Oh, and happy birthday, twitter! 😉



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