Elements of Fiction: Point of View

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  • 1. G-EN270 INTRO TO FICTIONThe Elements of FictionPoint of View Bruce Clary, McPherson College, McPherson, Kansas
  • 2. G-EN270 INTRO TO ICTIONAR340 WEB-BASEDFDESIGNPoint of view is the one indispensableelement of fiction.
  • 3. G-EN270 INTRO TO ICTIONAR340 WEB-BASEDFDESIGNPoint of view is perhaps the singlemost important artistic decision that aa writer makes.
  • 4. G-EN270 INTRO TO ICTIONAR340 WEB-BASEDFDESIGNPoint of view is the most complexelement of fiction.
  • 5. G-EN270 INTRO TO ICTIONAR340 WEB-BASEDFDESIGNFive questions for assessing point of view• Who speaks?• To whom?• In what form?• At what distance from the action?• With what limitations?
  • 6. G-EN270 INTRO TO ICTIONAR340 WEB-BASEDFDESIGNWho speaks? :: A narrative voice• Third person • Editorial omniscient • Limited omniscient • Objective
  • 7. G-EN270 INTRO TO ICTIONAR340 WEB-BASEDFDESIGNWho speaks? :: A character• First person • Major (or central) character • Minor (or peripheral) character
  • 8. G-EN270 INTRO TO ICTIONAR340 WEB-BASEDFDESIGNTo whom?• The reader• Another character or characters• Some other vague or shadowy auditor(s)• The self
  • 9. G-EN270 INTRO TO ICTIONAR340 WEB-BASEDFDESIGNIn what form?• Written story• Spoken story/monologue• Report• Confession• Interior monologue• Journal or diary• Stream of consciousness
  • 10. G-EN270 INTRO TO ICTIONAR340 WEB-BASEDFDESIGNAt what distance?• Authorial distance or psychic distance• Spatial and temporal distance• Irony • Verbal irony • Dramatic irony • Cosmic irony
  • 11. G-EN270 INTRO TO ICTIONAR340 WEB-BASEDFDESIGNWith what limitations?• Reliable narrator • Full authority (omniscient) • Objective, astute, honest• Unreliable narrator • Lacks full knowledge of situation • Biased, blindly subjective • Intentionally misleading • Mentally/psychologically unstable