Dear writer….

I’ve always been drawn to epistolary novels – those stories written as a series of documents, most often letters or postcards. The word epistolary is derived from the Greek word epistolé, meaning a letter, and the form can add realism to a story by introducing different viewpoints without employing the device of the omniscient narrator, which, especially for new writers, can be unwieldy and difficult to manage.

In an epistolary novel the third person omniscient – where the story is related by a head-jumping narrator who knows and sees everything that happens within the world of the story, including what each character is thinking – is supplanted by a series of communications that imparts information about the other characters, thus allowing the narrator to tell the reader things they couldn’t otherwise know.

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