Writing Can Be Murder

June 20, 2008

Can you put a voiceover in a novel?

Filed under: Uncategorized — love2wryte @ 6:06 pm

Last night I was telling DH about a scene I want to insert at the very beginning of my WIP and he said, “So you want to add a voiceover?” (DH is a wonderful man who has made a great effort to understand what I do, and I was appropriately impressed he knew what a voiceover is.)

My most successful screenplay (successful as in it’s done well/extrememely well in numerous screenwriting contests) starts with a voiceover. You know, one of those times when a movie starts with a character (usually the main character) talking while the camera pans over scenery or some such nonsense. The voiceover usually sets the tone and raises questions in the viewer’s mind.

DH is right. For all intents and purposes, I am thinking about adding a voiceover. Now the question is whether I can make it work in a novel’s format. What do you think?



  1. I like how it was done in American Beauty. You knew from the beginning that he died and soon, but you wanted to see how. It ratcheted everything up a notch with that knowledge. You knew that everything that was happening was leading to a death/downfall. Interesting to see how you might bookend it.

    I say go for it. Even if you decide to take it out in the end, it might have been a great focus and motivator during the writing.

    Comment by Cyndi — June 21, 2008 @ 7:59 pm | Reply

  2. Hmm. I think a book written in first person could have a voiceover – not sure about third. I’d love to see what you come up with.

    Comment by Jennifer Colgan — June 22, 2008 @ 1:35 am | Reply

  3. Cyndi — Yes the American Beauty VO was the best of all time imho.

    Comment by love2wryte — June 22, 2008 @ 7:36 am | Reply

  4. Jennifer — my WIP is in third person, but I think I’ll give it a try, if only because it’ll be an interesting exercise.

    Comment by love2wryte — June 22, 2008 @ 7:37 am | Reply

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