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Examples of characters fighting with the narrator?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Zero Angel, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

    Hi everyone,

    I've hit upon what seems to me to be the best voice for a series of novellas/shorts I've had on the backburner for a while, but it features the main character regularly fighting for control of POV from the narrator and being annoyed when the narrator describes things she does unfavorably.

    Anyway, I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun to develop and write, but I was curious if anyone had examples that they've been fond of. I've read through the list here: TV Tropes - Interactive Narrator, but am looking more for examples that you'd personally recommend checking out to help me narrow down the research.

    Asher the Red likes this.
  2. Mikelo

    Mikelo Acolyte

    I see The Emperor's New Groove made the list: that's my favorite example of this sort of thing, mostly because I love Kuzco's (and David Spade's) snark. But since Kuzco is the narrator, and he ends up arguing with himself, it might not be what you're looking for. But I'll recommend it anyway. There's never too much snark, right?
    Asher the Red and Zero Angel like this.
  3. psychotick

    psychotick Auror


    I'm fairly sure that Disney cartoons pull this trick every so often.

    Cheers, Greg.
    Zero Angel likes this.
  4. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    And I'm fairly sure they did it [to some extent] in the 1960s Batman TV Show. I'm sure I remember Robin complaining that the Narrator kept calling him "The Boy Wonder".
    If it is truly a Narrator and not a character narrating, then I think it's a nice idea [very knowing an breaking the glass wall and all] but I'd have to be persuaded...
    Characters that narrate [and argue with other protagonist [and antagonists]] is one of the staples of Noire writing.
    Zero Angel likes this.
  5. spectre

    spectre Sage

    I'm more reminded of quirky comedy where a character hears something the narrator says and either winks or decides not to do the dummy. It isn't directly related, I can't recall examples of interactive narration, but both the Truman Show and Me, Myself, and Irene are narrated stories that I saw, well movies, in which I thought the narrator and MC shared something unseen.
    Asher the Red and Zero Angel like this.
  6. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

    Thanks for the responses everyone. Sorry I took a few days to get back, finals kicked my butt this year. I still have a ton of grades to get in by 9 AM too . . . -_-

    Anyway, I'm still working out exactly how the narration is going to work. I don't want the narrator to be OP with knowledge, but I'm playing with it being a quirk of prophecy, where the main character has enough magickal ability (and some unique circumstances) that she is predicting a possible far-future of a character that is looking back on her life in time, but without the ability to predict her own future. That'll be pretty much background for a bit though, and the narrator will offer the opinion that she is delusional and *that* arrogant that she is imagining herself as someone important enough to look in on.

    So in this case, the narrator isn't interactive or a physical character except for in her head. I think this is part of the "audience, what audience" trope also, although the prota at least believes she's real. She is aware of the narrator but everyone else just thinks she's nuts or writes it off.

    I believe I remember a Disney cartoon that actually had Walt Disney talking to the cartoons and drawing for them. I don't remember that aspect of Emperor's New Groove or of the 60s Batman or of Me, Myself and Irene, but it's been years since I've seen any of those; I may go back and check out the movies again. I'm not familiar with noire writing, do you have any recommendations of it?
  7. Trick

    Trick Auror

    Have you seen Stranger than Fiction? The protagonist in that movie begins hearing his life being narrated and it turns out that someone is writing the story of his life without knowing he's a real person and the book is becoming real.

    Well worth watching, especially in your case.
    Zero Angel likes this.
  8. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

    Thanks Trick, I'd completely forgotten about that one. I have seen it but it's been a while and I remember enjoying it. I'll check it out again.
  9. evanator66

    evanator66 Minstrel

    The Stanley Parable seems like it would fit. You can obey or disobey the narrator, and get different results for it. The more you disobey the narrator, the more flustered he becomes. Also, there is Happily Never After which sort of fits your description (it has a plot within a plot).
    Zero Angel likes this.
  10. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

    Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too comes to mind. When Tigger is stuck in a tree afraid to come back down, the Narrator talks to him, Tigger argues, and the Narrator finally turns the book over to help him get out of the tree. Tigger steps off the tree onto the letters of the page and slides down the words to the ground.
    Zero Angel and Philster401 like this.
  11. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

    Good ideas guys. I've read the Tigger example a couple of times when researching this idea; although that's a little too interactive for my purposes, it's still a good example of the trope.

    I never knew what that game was called! I've seen it several times in editorials about video games; I found it highly amusing whenever it was brought up or discussed. That definitely sounds like what will be going on between the protagonist and the narrator, although he isn't prescient about what she will do in the future. He's more of an observer. The Hawthorne Effect will be at play in various ways though.

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