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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- I have identified a particular genre of writing, novels featuring the contemporaneous first-person narration of a juvenile, and termed it Young Narrator (YN) fiction. Writing in this form presents problems: how to create the voice of a child that is convincing and sustaining, despite the very real limitations of language, expression and experience typical at that age. In this project I investigated the extant literature to find out more about the voice of a text, examined famous and not so famous examples of the genre, and produced a creative work, implementing the conclusions of the research. The general principles I obtained from my research suggest that the YN voice should be simple, direct, challenging, evince personality characteristics such as humour at the earliest available opportunity, and, most importantly, exploit what I call the Young Narrator Gap. This is the idea that there is a gap between the understanding of the young character telling the story and that of the adult reader. This gap should be harnessed by the writer to generate tension and in consequence an empathetic response from the reader. I concluded from my project that writing in the YN voice was harder than I had anticipated. The story part was relatively easy; fulfilling my own recommendations arising from my study, considerably less so. FIRE BOY is the story of a young boy who starts a fire with disastrous consequences that see him living rough in the bush for a period of several weeks, where he meets an old man who has the opportunity to help him at a critical point. Importantly for the story, and typical of the genre, the boy does not receive the right kind of help, and his journey, a descent into chaos and confusion, continues.
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