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I got inspired!


Paul but not THE
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I'd been told not to do it, BUT, I thoroughly enjoy C.S.Lewis' inserting his own commentary into his Narnia books, like he's the story-teller right there with us.  I love that informal style, and am thinking about inserting commentary to my own story.  I've got several photo-cartoon spin-offs from my writing, and those cartoons often have the characters referring to me as Mr.A. (Mr.Author).  I think I left one or two such references like that in my story.  I have fun writing the story.  I may as well have more fun with it!

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Hey, Paul... it may be my inattention, but I haven't seen you around for a bit... hope you're doing well...

 

I'm gonna suggest that just inserting commentary out of the blue may startle a reader, and "break the spell" of concentration when they're immersed in the story. C.S. Lewis primed the reader for it, by engaging in a very chatty style throughout the work. That made his storytelling part of the actual story, and he wasn't intruding on our experience when he spoke to us directly.

 

F'rinstance... (this from memory, so maybe not perfect...) when he introduces the Eustace character, he points out that the kid is less than perfect, and almost deserved to have a name like Eustace. This is cute, playful opinionizing, which almost establishes the author as another character, global to the actual story. He does a lot of chatty stuff...

 

The most effective adding of commentary is probably not done as an afterthought, but set up from the very start, where the narrator may persuade the reader in advance to give the narrator permission to intrude momentarily.

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It's great to see you around again, Paul!  Hope you've been well.  I can't really comment on this, due to my lack of experience and the fact that I've only read three of the Narnia books (still working on that . . . one of these days . . . ).

 

But I think @Wes B gave you good advice (as he always does for many of us on CW 😉).  Prime the reader for your commentary.  I may be way off-base, but I seem to recall that Richard Adams did similar commentary in his classic and ambitious Watership Down.  But he put his in the footnotes of the book and just made interesting observations and imparted necessary bits if info to the reader that way.  Like I said, I could be remembering wrong; it's been a few years.  I'd like to read it again.

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