Category Archives: Project Four: The road

The Road, exercise two.

So I made notes in OneNote. Hope you can read my crappy writing. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

He pushed the cart and both he and the boy carried knapsacks. In the knapsacks were essential things in case they had to abandon the cart and make a run for it. Clamped to the handle of the cart was a chrome motorcycle mirror that he used to watch the road behind them. He shifted the pack higher on his shoulders and looked out over the wasted country. The road was empty. Below in the little valley the still grey serpentine of a river. Motionless and precise. Along the shore a burden of dead reeds. Are you okay? He said. The boy nodded. They set out along the blacktop in the gunmetal light, shuffling through the ash, each the other’s world entire.



The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Exercise one.

I had to start with researching other narrative styles.

First Person = I

Second Person = You (DnD/adventure games)

Limited Third Person = He/She/They, but limited view of just that character.

Omniscient Author = All seeing overlord

Unreliable Narrator = suspect assumptions

Observer Narrator = witness, not a character.

Changing the Narrator.

I pushed the cart and both the boy and I carry knapsacks. In the knapsacks are essential things in case we have to abandon the cart…..

By changing to the first person the story becomes present tense. I tried to write in the past tense but the urgency of the story became lost.

I tried to write second person, but my brain became overloaded and fizzed.

You push the cart, and both you and the boy carry knapsacks. In the knapsacks are essential things in case you have to abandon the cart…..

Again the tense has switched to the present tense. This time the reader feels directed, like a puppet.

Changing the narrator.

I reread the snippet and found that there’s a loss of control if the third person narrative is from the boy’s point of view. In the slice of story the man is clearly in ‘control’ of their actions with the boy following.

As for the choice of omniscient narrator, I find a detachment from the story, voyeuristic in its approach to the characters. Without reading the rest of the story I find it hard to deduce why. There are nudges towards some impending threat, so I presume it’s so the reader can remain outside of the story?