The tools of fiction
Place setting can be interior or exterior and it deals with the description of the landscape, interiors and object. A novel may begin with the description of a town or a landscape which is the primary setting of the story and also provides important information about the characters who live in it. When the description is very detailed, depending on the language of the senses or metaphorical expressions, the setting may acquire the status of character, almost a protagonist of the story.
Characters are the people who appear in a novel and represent the most important ingredient in the world of the fiction. The presentation of a character can be direct or indirect. The two methods of presentation are often mixed by authors in order to create portraits that are realistic but also provide a psychological insight into the inner life or their characters.
Depending on their role in the story there can be major and minor characters. A further distinction can be made between round and flat characters. Flat characters, also called types or caricatures, are built around a single psychological trait or quality; they are easy to recognise and do not develop throughout the story, even if they experience different relationship and situations. However this does not mean they are always artistically inferior to round characters. As a matter of fact, the author can use them to create a particular atmosphere insight a complex narrative frame. Round character pass through the crucial events of the story, change their personality as the narration develops and can even influence the plot; they are more complex and have more than one facet, like human beings.
As essential element of a narrative text is the speaking voice, that is, the narrator. The narrator is not the author of a book; the author is a real person, with is own experiences, personality and ideas. The narrator is the voice who tells the story is told; he may be internal to the story who tells events he has not taken part in. In this case it is called external.
The first-person narrator
The first-person narrator employs the I mode; it can coincide with character in the story or the protagonist who tells of his life. The choice of this narrator can have the following functions:
* to bring the reader close to the mind and feelings of the narrator;
* to convey an impression of reality;
* to restrict the reader's perspective.
The third-person narrator
The third-person narrator knows everything about the events and the characters' thoughts and intentions; this is why such a narrator can be obtrusive when he addresses the reader directly by making personal remarks and digressions or by providing a comment or the society of the time on some of the characters. The obtrusive narrator takes away the realistic illusion and reduces the emotional intensity of what is being told by focusing on the act of narrating. The narrator is unobtrusive when he shows what happens but he does not interfere with the story; he acts like a camera.