I'm very excited to have an essay in the latest Glimmer Train Bulletin (#85), on "Writing the Omniscient Narrator." Here's an excerpt:
I'd given each of the characters a voice, but the voice that was missing from the novel was mine: the author's. This novel needed someone to tell the story purposefully, framing it for the reader, weaving these different stories—which took place over more than a decade—into one. In short, what this novel needed was (gulp) an omniscient narrator.
The idea made me incredibly uncomfortable. To me, omniscient narrator called to mind the Dickens model: a Big Booming Voice who bossed the characters around, a know-it-all who judged everything. Someone very unlike me.