What is Normal? by Tomasina DeLong

I have been writing college essays lately and at one point, I caught myself using the word normal. This prompted me to ramble for another paragraph about what “normal” is. I deleted this paragraph because it was unnecessary, but the ideas have not left my mind.

In that context, I said that I wanted to be normal. This meant that I wanted a life without complications. I wanted a life where I not only looked “normal” but lived a “normal” life as well. This was in reference to my medical conditions — I want to be able to go to a friend’s house or leave the country without fear that my breathing and allergies will flair up. I want a life with all of the good and none of the bad. I think about kids at school who are ordinary and don’t have to leave class every day to visit the nurse. I envision that the lives of my peers are simple — without complication — but everyone has their own problems. Even if it is not evident, everyone has their own struggles.

No one’s life is normal because there is not one typical life that a majority of people have. I desire a life that is non-existent, because there is no such thing as normal. I started to think about what my life would be without the things that make my life difficult, and I realized that there are good things that have come from my “abnormal” life. I have good qualities and character traits that have come out of my personal struggle. Good relationships with people and new personality traits have emerged. I am proud of how I have grown from these obstacles.

There is no such thing as “normal.”

My Writing Process by Ian Marr

 

Sunday, January 6th. 9:13 AM.

I stare at my computer monitor. A blank sheet of paper stares back, untouched by words.

A research paper. Requiring eight sources cited with a minimum of 1,500 and a maximum of 2,500 words.

I tell myself that I’m going to finish it today. Who knows when I’d be able to make myself sit back down and work on it later?

I swallow and begin typing. It’s 9:34 now. Straining myself, I finish typing the last word of the title. 11 words. This is going to take a while.

10:50 AM.

277 words. I have 4 tabs open that are unrelated to the assignment. I’m not worried though. After all, the day is still young, isn’t it?

11:16 AM.

277 words. I found a cool new YouTube channel. This guy’s making videos about various stories he has to tell from his high school years. They’re pretty engaging. I should really get back to work.

11:45 AM.

346 words. I’ve more or less paraphrased the entire first half of one of my sources. That’s definitely how writing essays works. The teacher probably won’t notice.

12:20 PM.

381 words. Time for a lunch break! I heat up a few slices of leftover pizza from two nights ago. The pepperoni slices are still a little cold. Otherwise, it’s alright.

1:08 PM.

381 words. That lunch break took a little longer than I though. I sit back down in the swiveling chair in front of the computer. I can’t work on an empty stomach, can I?

1:40 PM.

473 words. I have come to the conclusion that research papers are incredibly boring. How any one person can spend hours grading these is beyond me.

2:33 PM.

604 words. I found a website with lots of games available that I used to play when I was younger. A quick trip down memory lane ought to be alright.

3:28 PM.

604 words. Did I really just spend an hour playing that? It wasn’t even that fun, now that I think about it. Still, it was pleasing for my nostalgia.

4:15 PM.

698 words. Almost halfway there; I decided a while ago that I wouldn’t be getting far beyond 1,500 words. I really need to figure out how to focus better… I think I’ll Google how to avoid procrastinating. That ought to work.

4:52 PM.

760 words. I’m finally starting to feel a little anxious about finishing this research paper. But, nothing for it but to keep chipping away, I guess.

5:10 PM.

802 words. I wonder if I can use a Wii Remote as a controller on my computer… seems logical to me.

6:29 PM.

802 words. The Wii Remote doesn’t work at all.

6:37 PM.

802 words. Mom says that dinner is ready. I’m glad; I was waiting for something to take my mind of the remote that wasted over an hour.

7:00 PM.

802 words. Mom wanted to watch some television, so I guess I have to go do that now.

7:55 PM.

802 words. I fell asleep in front of the television. Probably a well-deserved nap, but I really should get back to work.

8:36 PM.

911 words. I wonder how long it would take her to notice if I copied and pasted an entire source into my paper.

12:18 AM.

911 words. I woke up to find a massive line of sssssssssss lining the whole screen. There’s a little fewer than six hours before I need to get ready to leave for school. I can get this done by then, right?

12:59 AM.

1,032 words. My eyes keep closing and I’m losing my train of thought. Why did I do this to myself again? I need sleep.

1:45 AM.

1,126 words. I reread my latest paragraph to discover that I had absolutely no recollection of typing most of its content. I don’t know how I managed to do that, but I’m not complaining.

2:32 AM.

1,209 words. I’m going to make myself a bowl of instant ramen. Time for a late-night snack.

3:38 AM.

1,209 words. It turns out that it takes a lot longer to eat a bowl of ramen when there are memes to be browsed on your phone.

3:56 AM.

1,298 words. The day is no longer young. Maybe I’ll just finish the rest at school. At least two hours of sleep would be pretty nice.

4:34 AM.

1,367 words. I’m so close!

5:20 AM.

1,411 words. Seeing the morning fast approaching, my focus shoots through the roof. Just a little bit farther…

6:00 AM.

1,511 words.

I type the final sentence just as I hear my alarm going off from upstairs. As I stare at my finished handiwork, I feel a rush of relief… and remember that my next essay will likely turn out the exact same way.

Birthdays Are Weird by Monet Bouie

Birthdays are weird. Don’t get me wrong, I love the attention. As narcissistic as that sounds, it’s tremendously true. I’m very overt in my anticipation for gifts, food, and the “Happy Birthday” song. I revel in the fact that on your one special day you can practically do whatever you want. On this day you are royalty, or even a god, and all must bend to your command. But birthdays also seem perplexing in that we choose to celebrate a pagan tradition with balloons, cake, and candles to commemorate to getting closer and closer to death.

Wow, that got morbid really fast.

So this past Thursday was my birthday (December 13th, in case you want to put it in your calendar for next year). My 18th birthday to be exact. People have told me that your 18th birthday is a major milestone in your life. The 18th birthday is arguably the most important in American society. There are a multitude of responsibilities and expectations that come with it as well. In the eye’s of the general public, you are a young adult.  I’m like a metaphorical butterfly who’s ready to burst out of its cocoon!

But how does one… “adult”? I woke up that morning not feeling any different. I put on my clothes and they didn’t fit any differently. In the mirror I still looked the same. I didn’t notice any wrinkles or grey hairs. I walked downstairs to get breakfast and I still craved my favorite cereal filled with high fructose corn syrup over my mom’s healthier alternative, Shredded Wheat. On the car ride to school I still opted to blast 2000’s Disney music over listening to a podcast. And so on and so forth.

Nevertheless, there are a handful of privileges one get when they reach the prime age of 18:

 

Voting

Now that I’m of the legal voting age of 18, the 26th amendment states that I can vote! I can vote in all local and national elections.

 

Getting a tattoo/ piercing (without a parent permission)

I can tat up my whole body and pierce literally anything and everything… cool. I just have to get over my fear of the needle first.

 

Open a credit card

I can apply for my own personal credit card without a cosigner. Now someone just needs to tell me how they work.

 

Enlisting in the armed forces

As a legal adult, I can enlist or be drafted into any branch of the military.

 

Prison (Big Boy Jail)

Being 18 comes with new consequences. My bad decisions may have landed me a slap on the wrist or a stern talking to but the whole game has changed.

 

Play the Lottery

That means it’s time to buy $50 worth of scratch cards and try my luck!

 

Adoption

Wait, what? I can adopt another human being? That’s crazy! I can barely remember to water my plants! How can I be old enough to care for another person?

 

Get Married

Marriage? Yuck! That’s just a lot of commitment. I’ve never even had a serious boyfriend. What happened to just going to the movies? Ice cream? Playing cat and mouse? I mean, I always said I wanted to marry Harry Styles as soon as I could but I was only kidding! My mom told me that I couldn’t get married until I was 85 anyway.

 

Sure, I was a butterfly in its cocoon. It was warm, safe, familiar. But instead of bursting out and flying into the sunset, I was evicted and smacked on the ground. If I’m being honest, I’m afraid of the foggy and unclear journey ahead of me. When will I finally know how to adult? Does anyone truly know?

The Absolutely Horrendous and Hell-Filled Season of Finals and Flu by Bronwyn Warnock

Flu and finals season is upon us. The flu combined with finals makes for the most mind-boggling stressful time of the year. The span of time from late December to late January is mentally straining and pushes some students past their limits.

Prior to winter vacation, I was hit with a double whammy of the flu and strep throat. It was a fun week-long trip of me laying in bed, flushing myself full of lemon-lime Gatorade, and worrying about the enormous mound of schoolwork that was piling up. I tried not to think about school, yet deep down I knew that when I got back the stress and responsibilities would overtake me. Like many others, I work hard throughout the semester to prepare myself to be in a good situation for finals. It is so annoying that I got sick right before break. I feel like I missed out and now I feel like I am behind and UGH.

The flu is a fast and vicious monster that attacks during the winter season. The current flu vaccine only has a 48% protection analysis. That means that more than 50% of people will get the flu even with the vaccine! The school environment spreads germs and thus easily spreads the flu. The Shaker Heights High School finals season directly correlates with the flu season. I believe that the finals schedule should be moved away from the germ-ridden winter season.

Limited Vocabulary by Astrid Braun

I wondered the other day, as I lay in bed, whether writers are ever satisfied with their attempts to express emotions. The older I get, the more limiting the English language seems to me — I flip through my thesaurus in an attempt to expand my vocabulary, but there are concepts that have not yet been put into words. In our language, at least.

The Hindi word jijivisha refers to the strong, eternal desire to live and to continue living. The Spanish word querer describes a love of friends or family that is purely platonic; amor describing its counterpart.

Does the lack of terminology for these feelings in English reveal the blind spots of our cultural values, or does it only show a difference in language development? I assume both — language development and culture are tightly woven together. After all, even if I were to adopt jijivisha into my own everyday vocabulary, it would not convey what I want it to, because we don’t have the cultural understanding to surround the word.

But it could serve its purpose for me, if I developed its meaning enough in the context of my life. I cannot write papers for English class that use después, because somehow it fits better than “after,” but if I choose to do so in my own writing, I can employ whatever words I want. Eventually, still, I will run out of words.

So it is that same cultural understanding — the one that limits me so much — that I need to rely on in order to have any confidence that I’ve conveyed my feelings correctly. I have to know that everyone takes in the same short breath when they come across a deer in the woods, or the same joyful soreness in their neck after they’ve watched fireworks all night. But I know that no one experiences anything the same, and that will always be both my advantage and disadvantage.

No one will ever understand what it is to be me, but maybe my words can help them better understand what it is to be them.

An End of An Era by Madison L. Wilson

In retrospect, the past four years have actually gone by fast, but I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to call my team, better coaches, or a better bagel selection at each XC meet!!!
Much Love.

Stress Fracture by Jake Lehner

In the summer before my junior year, I took a two-week long Spanish-immersion trip to Chile. Thomas Jefferson High School, where my peers and I spent our days conversing with the students and sitting in on lectures, happened to have a basketball court. I excitedly asked my host student, René, if anyone really uses the court, to which he replied “no.” My lips curved into a half-smile as I acknowledged the inevitability that I would soon be teaching my new classmates how to run five-on-five. What I couldn’t acknowledge at the time, however, was that I would fall and break my arm five minutes after I began playing. After a fit of moaning, I was rushed to the nearest emergency room by a few of the chaperones, along with the principal of the school. On my first day at Thomas Jefferson High School, halfway across the world, I just had to break my arm—playing pickup basketball. To be fair, I was incredibly lucky to have broken my arm in a country with universal healthcare. Besides, what else could the defense do to stop me from dropping fifty points other than to break my arm?

Why do I continue to express my love for a sport which certainly doesn’t love me back? Maybe it’s the way the seams of the ball feel when I grip them. Maybe it’s the look of devastation on the defender’s face when I sink a shot (a rare occurrence). Or, maybe it’s the freedom that the game warrants. See, basketball, in my eyes, is more than just a game; it’s a reminder of my own free-will. When the ball is inbounded in a game of scrimmage, the receiving player may initiate any one of an infinite number of offensive schemes. Pick-and-roll, pinch-post, motion offense, fast-break, isolation, triangle, pick-and-pop with a cherry-on-top (maybe I made up that last part), you name it; they are free to explore any one of the infinitesimal avenues of offensive play. Basketball serves to remind me that I shall live my life deliberately.

It’s REALLY Not a Diary by Harlan Friedman-Romell

 

 

 

 

This won’t make a whole lot of sense without reading my last blog; you can find it here.

Hi, me again. Mr. Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Get your laughs out now, folks, cause you’re in for a wild ride.

Let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a simple, coming-of-age tale that highlights a basic message: be true to yourself and others. We follow Greg Heffley (a sly Zachary Gordon) and his best friend Rowley Jefferson (an adorable Robert Capron) through their preadolescent adventures as sixth graders in middle school. Throughout the year, the very fabric of their fraying friendship is tested through broken limbs, Safety Patrol betrayals, and the Cheese Touch debacle. Although Greg and Rowley’s friendship remains the focus of the dramatic conflict, various secondary characters pop in and out of the story to enrich the world of the film.

Admittedly, if you look at the characters as vehicles to reinforce the message and the scenarios purely as comedic gags, there’s not a whole lot of substance beyond what is directly given. On paper, the book is a comedy aimed at young kids. But, if you look a little deeper, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film is a bitingly satirical social critique of the suburban American lifestyle.

First off, A little background on our protagonist is necessary, wouldn’t you agree?

We, as viewers, experience the story from Greg’s point of view. Greg Heffley hails from the idyllic and affluent white suburb of Plainview in Middle America. Magnificent Dutch Colonials and Tudors line the streets while his parents fall into the stereotypical gender roles common throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Dad (Frank) is on the classic 9-5 grind, while mom (Susan) stays at home with Greg’s younger brother, Manny. The Heffleys are clearly an archetype for the typical American family: a mom, a dad, two kids, and a pet (Manny). However, the Heffley’s are anything but typical; they are dysfunctional, immoral, and self-centered. Frank is solely absorbed in his Civil War reenactments and miniatures, Susan coddles Manny—a huge snitch—while neglecting her other two children, and Rodrick does everything in his power to constantly bully and beleaguer Greg.

So, where does that leave our protagonist? How does Greg deal with all of this? Is he diamond in the rough? Has he any sense of decency?

The answer is a resounding no.

In short, Greg sucks. He is conceited, judgmental, and a pathological liar. Greg obsesses over the fabled number one spot on his self-imposed “Popularity Meter” to an unhealthy degree, tries to change his only friend, Rowley, because he isn’t ‘cool enough,’ and repeatedly lies to his parents, teachers, and peers.

However, that’s the main reason this movie works.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid works because Greg is a dick. So many child protagonists are flawless angels, constantly outsmarting the dimwitted adults and speaking with the vernacular of a 40-year-old white guy (the average Hollywood screenwriter). Not Greg. He’s not precocious, he’s not smart, in fact he’s not even a good person.

“How can we identify and root for a whiny kid?” you ask. “This character must be likeable and compelling for me to watch.”

I raise you this. The opening lines of the film, slightly altered from the novel in a few key ways, reads as follows:

Okay, first of all, let me get something straight: this is a JOURNAL, not a diary. Right, I know what it says on the cover, but when mom went out to buy this thing I TOLD her not to get me a book that said “diary” on it. This just proves Mom doesn’t know anything. If I walk into my first day of middle school carrying this book around, I might as well be wearing a sign that says ‘punch me!’

Okay, so what do we know? Greg is a whiny brat, sure, but what else? We know that Greg is nervous about being bullied at middle school for his ‘journal,’ but we also know that Greg has a strained relationship with his mother, evident when he insults her intelligence. Could we say, mayhap, Greg uses humor and sarcasm to mask his insecurities? Does he lack the ability to commit to loving relationships with his close family and friends?

I think so.

Right there, we’ve already outlined his character in the first thirty seconds. Greg starts out Diary of a Wimpy Kid as a wimpy kid, both physically and emotionally. He’s trapped in this artificial, agonizing existence as a middle schooler, constantly tormented by the mundanity and cruelty of his family and peers.

However, he shall be tormented no longer; Greg is on his hero’s journey. Just as the opening credits roll, we can easily imagine what he will learn over the course of his sixth grade. Communication. Honesty. Integrity. Friendship. After all, this was intended to be a kids movie.

And, by adopting a traditional arc-driven structure as opposed to the vignette-ish musings of the original novel, we begin to care. The novel was simple. Dry. Emotionless. We don’t want to see Greg throw his life away at the ripe old age of twelve, and we need someone to make us feel that.

Beyond Greg and his family, One of the strongest assets that highlights film’s profound subtext lies within the development of the ensemble of rich, complex characters that enliven the story. We spend a lot of time exploring the dynamic of the Heffley family, specifically one powerful scene that deals with Rodrick’s pornography addiction and the social consequences of his plight. However, whether delving deep into secondary character traits such as Rowley’s latent homosexual tendencies, Fregley’s behavioral challenges, or Patty’s abuse of white entitlement, the film expands on the typical tropes found in teen movies with terrific subtlety. I don’t have the time to go in-depth regarding the the blatant stereotyping of Chirag Gupta, the sole minority character in the entire film, assuming the ‘Magical Colored Person’ role. This movie is so much more nuanced and envelope pushing than people give it credit for.

The 2010 film wasn’t well received by any measure; it currently sits at a mediocre 53% rotten critic rating on movie review site Rotten Tomatoes, the audience rating score even worse at 49%. I can’t help but wonder why! I think people need to give it another chance.

Visually, it’s a bright, zippy, energetic adventure that manages to capture the cliched goings-on of middle school with sardonic aplomb. The whole thing is deliberately larger than life, which plays so well for a story of this caliber. The plucky child actors give it their all, and the mix of mid-2000s tunes underscoring Greg’s antics matches the tone perfectly. The script and characters are chock full of subtext and idiosyncrasies, ultimately making for a complete cinematic experience.

We’ve got a long break coming up. So, if you find the time, sit down with the family, make yourselves comfortable, and watch Diary of a Wimpy Kid. You won’t regret it. I promise.

At least it won’t be as bad as getting the Cheese Touch.

Survivor: Outwit, Outplay, Outlast by Grace Meyer

Welcome to Survivor.

Wanna know what you’re playing for?

Lies, backstabbing, and hunger.

What could go wrong?

Survivor is a reality tv show where twenty four contestants compete for the 1 million dollar prize and the title of Soul Survivor. But just like the title suggests, they all need to survive the elements with a lack of resources– especially food. Imagine living on an island with complete strangers, with a cup of rice per day, and without a single trace of technology. From day one, you and your tribe have to fend for food, make shelter and provide for yourselves.

In addition, alliances are formed right off the bat. If you don’t make connections with your fellow tribe mates at the start, that can instantly make you a target. If you make a move too early, you become a target. If you don’t make any moves at all, you won’t have a chance at winning. Survivor is more mental than physical in most cases. No one knows who to trust and arrogance is a weakness. Safety is an illusion and is never certain.

Unless you have an immunity idol, that is. The only way to guarantee your safety in the game is to have an idol in your pocket or around your neck. You can earn them by finding a hidden one around the island or winning an immunity challenge. But I’m getting ahead of myself. During the day, there are two types of challenges: reward and immunity.

Towards the start of the game, the twenty four contestants are split into three or four tribes. They compete for rewards like food, comfort, fishing gear and flint. The challenges determine their physical and mental strength as the majority of them entail lifting heavy objects and solving puzzles. As always, not everyone can win, and you have to earn it. In immunity challenges, they compete for a chance to stay away from tribal council for one night.

Tribal council is what all contestants want to avoid at all costs. Each week when the show airs, one person is voted out and loses their chance of winning. If you don’t have to go to tribal council, you won’t get voted out. It’s that simple.

Or is it?

Like I said before, safety isn’t guaranteed. Everything you say can be used against you, and blindsides can happen any time. Outwit, outplay and outlast, and you might have a shot at the title.

Just don’t get voted out.

Nuanced Narration by Josh Skubby

Image result for huckleberry finnWhen reading fiction, a special bond forms between the reader and the narrator. We engage with the constructed world as though we are a character in the story. It fosters emotional connection and drives the plot forward. We’re all familiar with first person narration. Most works of fiction utilize the style, from classics such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to contemporary novels such as The Hunger Games.

It’s a simple narrative technique and doesn’t seem to contain any particular flair or pomp beyond the events of the story. Writing in first person is a natural extension of human discussion. At its most basic, it is a recounting of events, like an old friend telling you about their weekend.

As a result of its reliability, writers use first person constantly. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just makes it harder for one particular work to stand out from the pack.

Good writers use narration to deliver their stories. Great writers use narration to enhance their stories. There are 3 novels I shall discuss that particularly demonstrate the impact that narrators have on the writing they deliver.

(Spoilers follow. Tread carefully)

Earlier I mentioned the casual nature of first person. Mark Twain highlights this feature in the aforementioned Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Huckleberry Finn’s command of language is weak. His grammatical conventions are inconsistent and his syntax is juvenile. However, these imperfections serve a distinct purpose. Not only do we see Huck’s adventures through his eyes, but we hear it through his voice. He’s naive, young, poor and simplistic. And it shows. He reminisces about past schemes, and crudely comments on his experiences. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn surrounds the reader with Huck’s thoughts.

It’s textbook first person. Huckleberry Finn is the story-teller through and through. Twain sought to illuminate the experience of a boy coasting down the Mississippi River. Morally, he is torn between helping Jim, or returning him to Miss Watson. Having access to Huck’s inner thoughts illuminates this dilemma. The reader’s literary experience lurches with the current of Huck’s conscious. We are effectively pulled down the Mississippi on the same raft as Huckleberry Finn and Jim, subject to all its twists and turns, as frightening and exciting as they may be.

My personal favorite novel, The Great Gatsby, goes in a slightly different direction. Nick Carraway generally lacks passion and personality. He routinely plays second fiddle to the larger-than-life Jay Gatsby and lacks Tom Buchanan’s arrogant and bombastic nature. Nick really isn’t the central character of his own universe. Frankly, he doesn’t have to be. His relative indifference illuminates Gatsby as a grandiose and mystical figure.

The other components of Fitzgerald’s novel make up for Nick’s comparative dullness. He’s perceptive enough to let others shine, and other characters often trust him enough to share some of the saucier elements of their personal lives. By making Nick the narrator, Fitzgerald treats the reader to a personal story without compromising Gatsby’s mystery. Nick isn’t the one that’s Great, but part of Gatsby’s greatness comes from his indulgent facade.

All we learn about Gatsby comes directly from Nick’s observations and experiences. This style distances the reader from the book’s wealthy and sultry namesake. Even as Gatsby’s closest confidant, Nick doesn’t entirely understand what makes him tick. At times the reader gets the impression Gatsby isn’t in control of himself. When he meets up with Daisy in Nick’s home, Gatsby is disorganized and nervous. He fiddles incessantly and contemplates abandoning the whole ordeal. Throughout the novel, the reader isn’t quite sure why Gatsby does the things he does. He constantly says “old sport” and accepts blame for Daisy’s vehicular incident. The reader and Nick can infer Gatsby’s intentions and motives, but there is a clear wall between the story being presented and the mind of the cryptic metropolitan.

I do not like George Orwell’s 1984. I think it’s profoundly dull, sounding less like a story and more like a manifesto-in-denial. But even I must admit Orwell employs a deeply engaging narrative style. 1984 is deeply personal, depicting Winston Smith’s thoughts and struggles in a repressive society. Throughout the book, we are constantly informed of what Winston knows to be true.

At least, what he thinks he knows to be true.

While the two books I mentioned prior featured first person narrator-reader interactions, 1984 includes no such thing. The story is narrated in third person limited, so Winston never directly communicates with the audience like Huck or Nick. But instead of sounding cold and detached, the novel brings us directly into Winston’s mind in a strange, roundabout way.

The narrator’s diction is absolute. They don’t simply relay Winston’s thoughts to the reader, they relay his conviction. When Winston is particularly sure of some Party plot, the narrator mirrors his certainty. Phrases like “Winston confidently thought X”  are replaced by “He was sure of X. It was so obvious, anyone paying attention would know within an instant.” Such language slowly molds the reader’s worldview to fit Winston’s. The narrator undermines the unfortunate truth facing Winston, instead bolstering his (often incorrect) judgments about the nature of his life. By the book’s conclusion, it is painfully obvious that Winston has been actively and persistently deceived.  As Winston’s taste of freedom is ripped from his hands, the reader learns he was never as safe as he thought. Orwell presents a narrator who is deeply attached to the protagonist. This narrator is untrustworthy not because they are dishonest, but because they cling to a character who is wrong.

Narration profoundly impacts every work of fiction. Deliberate and conscious decisions ensure a novel’s narrator will actively contribute to the story’s literary value. In the case of theses 3 books, the authors turn a seemingly simple decision into a profound tool to subtly enhance their writings. So the next time any of you indulge in writing fiction, take a moment and think; Who should tell my story?