David Copperfield by Dickens

When the narrator is the main character the story appears autobiographical. It is said that David Copperfield is Charles Dickens. Writing in first-person can be challenging for a first time writer I would advice against. In screenplay writing let the characters guide the audience, a narrator is best used for a documentary not a work of fiction.

The narrative is linear in appearance, as is usual in traditional first-person form. It covers the narrator’s life until the day he decides to put an end to his literary endeavor. However, whole sections of his life are summarized in a few paragraphs, or sometimes just a sentence or two, indicating that three or ten years have passed, or that Dora is dead, necessary to keep the story moving along. Thus, the long stay of reflection in Switzerland which leads to the recognition of love for Agnes, or the lapse of time before the final chapter, are all blanks in the story.

Besides the hero, this story concerns important secondary characters such as Mr Micawber or Uriah Heep, or Betsey Trotwood and Traddles, the few facts necessary for a believable story are parsimoniously distilled in the final chapters: an impromptu visit to a prison, the unexpected return of Dan Peggotty from the Antipodes; so many false surprises for the narrator who needs them to complete each person’s personal story.

The epilogue is a model of the genre, a systematic review, presumably inspired by his memory, without true connection. There is the desire to finish with each one, with forced exclamations and ecstatic observations, scrolling through the lives of those who are frozen in time: Dick with his “Memorial” and his kite, Dr Strong and his dictionary, and as a bonus, the news of David’s “least child”, which implies that there have been other children between him and eldest child Agnes of whom the reader has never heard by name. So also goes the story of Dan Peggotty relating the sad tale of his niece.

Retrospect chapters are placed at strategic moments of the general discourse, which play a catch-up role more than one of meditation by the narrator, without venturing into event details. Here, the narration has disappeared, it has given way to a list, an enumeration of events. Wikipedia