Author vs Narrator: Difference and Comparison

The Narrator might be a character in the tale (though not typically) or someone from the outside world (more frequently).

It’s vital to remember that just because an author’s name appears as a character in a tale doesn’t mean he’s the Narrator.

Famous authors include J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, and Mark Twain, while famous narrators include Jim Dale, Soneela Nankani, JD Jackson, Emily Woo Zeller, and Neil Gaiman.

Key Takeaways

  1. The author is the individual who creates a literary work, while the narrator is the voice that tells the story within that work.
  2. Authors can be real people or pseudonyms, whereas narrators can be characters within the story or omniscient presence.
  3. The author’s opinions and beliefs might differ from the narrator’s, as the narrator can be a fictional construct designed to serve the story.

Author vs Narrator

The difference between Author and Narrator is that author is someone who publishes or writes a book, essay, poem, or other pieces of writing. On the other hand, a narrator is a character or nonparticipating observer who tells you what is happening in a book or film. The Narrator’s voice might be his own or that of a third party not involved in the story.

Author vs Narrator

An author is a person who puts together his thoughts to present them before the readers in the writing. This allows him to share his ideas and views with others.

An author’s work involves putting together his original thoughts and presenting them for publication. ‘Author’ is not just a noun referring to a person who writes; it is also a verb meaning ‘to create or originate.’

It can be used in sentences such as “He authored his first book at 21”.

A narrator manages the narration of a story, which can mean filtering it through their point of view. This point of view implies a set of beliefs and values used to judge the story’s events.

A narrator is a person or character who tells a story or a voice devised by the story’s creator to tell the story.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAuthorNarrator
Definition An author is a person who publishes or writes a novel, poetry, essay, or another piece of writing.A narrator is a character in a book or film which tells you what’s going on.
Nature of workThe story is written by the author.The story is told by a narrator.
Origin Around the early 14th century, the noun “author” was first used in Middle English.Before the 15th century, the word “writer” was in use.
Examples Examples of Authors are Veronica Roth, Glynnis Campbell, Alex Ross, etc.Examples of narrators are Patrick Stewart and Peter Coyote.
Synonym Synonyms of Author are writer, artist, creator, and many more.Synonyms of Narrator are storyteller, commentator, and voice-over.
Antonyms Antonyms of Author are a destroyer, non-author, and many more.Antonyms of the Narrator are listener and audience.

What is Author?

An author is a person who attempts to communicate his ideas and thoughts through writing, whereas a writer is a person who writes any literary piece, but the concept is not always his own.

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The term author is used only for those who write literary pieces like novels, short stories, poetry, etc. But when it comes to an article on any topic, people do not use the term author.

Instead of that, they use the word writer. This is because article writing does not require much skill compared to novel writing; it requires extensive research, profound knowledge of language and style, and years of experience.

It has been observed that the word writer or article writer has been used in many instances while we discuss some of the prominent authors like William Shakespeare or Charles Dickens.

Concerning movie making, the term writer refers to writing the script for the film or storyline in a serialized format.

While in the case of television serials and dramas, writers are those people who write dialogues for all the characters with regards to what they would say in different situations during their show.

Authors write their creation or concept such as novels, short stories, essays, articles, etc. A writer can write anything related to the topic given to them by someone else or their research.

The purpose of writing for an author is to create something that reflects their creativity and imagination. In contrast, the purpose of writing for a writer is to communicate the message or idea in the best possible way.


What is Narrator?

The Narrator is the one who tells the story. They may be a character in the story or a nonparticipating observer.

The Narrator’s voice may be his own, disguised as the main character or a third person detached from the narrative.

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In general, think of the Narrator as an all-knowing entity who knows everything about the characters. The Narrator is not limited to what anyone character knows.

This makes it possible for several characters to be present at once without knowing what another character is thinking or doing.

The Narrator’s point of view determines how much readers know about the events and characters. There are three types of narration:

First-person narrative. The Narrator is one of the characters and tells their part of the story using “I” and “me.” This perspective is limited because it can reveal only what that character thinks, says, and does.

Omniscient narrative. The Narrator knows everything — what each character thinks, says, and does — and may move in and out of several minds at will.

An omniscient narrator has no limitations except those imposed by the writer’s talent for evoking multiple points of view. Omniscient narrators also provide commentary on characters’ thoughts and actions.

Third-person narrative. Third-person narrators can be either objective (revealing no inner thoughts) or omniscient (looking into characters’ minds).


Main Differences Between Author and Narrator 

  1. A novelist, poet, essayist, or other writer is an author. On the other hand, a narrator is a figure who informs you what is happening in a book or film.
  2. The author writes the narrative, but a narrator tells it.
  3. Veronica Roth, Glynis Campbell, Alex Ross, and others are examples of authors, whereas Patrick Stewart and Peter Coyote are examples of narrators.
  4. The author has several synonyms, including artist, writer, and creator, whereas Narrator has many synonyms, including storyteller, commentator, and voice-over.
  5. The author has various antonyms, including a destroyer, non-author, and many more, whereas the Narrator has listener and audience as antonyms.
  6. In the early 14th century, the word author was first used in Middle English, but the term narrator was used before the 15th century.
Difference Between Author and Narrator

Last Updated : 19 July, 2023

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