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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > April 2017 > The voice of innocents

The voice of innocents

Explore the challenges and rewards of using child narrators, with an outstanding example selected by Helen M Walters

TAP HERE to read Gravel

So far in this series of masterclasses I’ve been looking at what we can learn from classic short stories, but from now on I’m going to look at some stories from more contemporary writers as well. Alice Munro is a Canadian writer who was born in 1931 and the story we’re going to look at, Gravel, was published in 2011.

We can learn a lot from this story about the craft of writing, including foreshadowing and writing from the perspective of a child. As ever, please do read the story in order to get the most benefit from this masterclass:

As we read the beginning of Gravel we find out that the narrator is talking about a past experience. Note the words at that time, which tell us that the narrator, although a child for the bulk of the story, is looking back on the episode from later in their life.

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WIN!! More than £500,000 of writing prizes in your free Competition Supplement, with information about hundreds of writing competitions for you to enter in 2017 Find out how you can apply the winning formula to your writing: • How to win writing competitions • Short story structure made simple • Reach 'The End' of your novel Also in this issue, read our star interview with bestselling 'Me Before You' author Jojo Moyes on writing romance the modern way, and find out if crowdfunding might be the smart new way to publish your book. • Writers News is 20 packed pages of news you can use, including 30 paying markets and 51 opportunities to get your writing into print. asasaasasasass

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