Fiction basics pov
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  • 1. Fiction Basics: Point of View A TPL Writers’ Circle Tutorial Cari Dubiel [email_address]
  • 2. Point of View: Main Types
    • First Person
    • I walked down the street, thinking about a turkey sandwich.
    • Third Person Limited
    • He walked down the street, thinking about a turkey sandwich.
    • Third Person Omniscient
    • He walked down the street, thinking about a turkey sandwich. Meanwhile, she walked down another street, thinking about a bologna sandwich.
  • 3. Choosing Point of View
    • First Person
    • Advantages Allows deep identification with main character
    • Allows you to develop a distinct voice
    • Limitations
    • Character can’t know everything in the plot
    • Character can be unreliable
  • 4. Choosing Point of View
    • Third Person Limited – “close third”
    • Advantages
    • Creates distance between the reader and main character
    • Lets you describe the character on the outside and the inside
    • Limitations
    • Unless you alternate between points of view, you are still limited to one character’s thoughts and feelings
    • Does not create the feeling of intimacy of first person
  • 5. Choosing Point of View
    • Third Person Omniscient - “distant third”
    • Advantages
    • Allows you to describe events from multiple characters’ perspectives
    • Allows the author to keep an even wider distance from characters
    • Limitations
    • Can be confusing to reader – “head hopping”
    • Must be done very precisely
  • 6. Experimental Points of View
    • Second Person
    • You walked down the street, thinking about a turkey sandwich.
    • Examples: Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas – Tom Robbins
    • Bright Lights, Big City – Jay McInerney
    • Instructions are often written in second person (sometimes known as “imperative”).
  • 7. Experimental Points of View
    • Collective First Person
    • They walked down the street, thinking about many different things.
    • Example: The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
    • First Person, Narrator Not Main Character
    • Example: The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • 8. Choosing Point of View
    • Choose the point of view that best fits your story
    • Experiment! Write the same scene:
    • *from the points of view of different characters
    • *in limited third person
    • *in first person
    • *in an experimental point of view
    • When you read your favorite novels, identify the point of view. Is it effective? Does it fit the story? Why or why not?
  • 9. Resources
    • Almond, Steve. “Fiction: Point of View.”
    • http://www.writersdigest.com/article/fiction-point-of-view/
    • Kress, Nancy. “6 Tips to Choosing the Right Point of View.”
    • http://www.writersdigest.com/article/6_Tips_to_Choosing_the_Right_Point_of_View/