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Perspective, organization, and missed opportunities
Perspective, organization, and missed opportunities
Perspective, organization, and missed opportunities
Perspective, organization, and missed opportunities
Perspective, organization, and missed opportunities
Perspective, organization, and missed opportunities
Perspective, organization, and missed opportunities
Perspective, organization, and missed opportunities
Perspective, organization, and missed opportunities
Perspective, organization, and missed opportunities
Perspective, organization, and missed opportunities
Perspective, organization, and missed opportunities
Perspective, organization, and missed opportunities
Perspective, organization, and missed opportunities
Perspective, organization, and missed opportunities
Perspective, organization, and missed opportunities
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Perspective, organization, and missed opportunities

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This lesson explores choosing a form of perspective for your story, deciding what organizational scheme would be best for your story, and how to identify missed opportunities--points in your story …

This lesson explores choosing a form of perspective for your story, deciding what organizational scheme would be best for your story, and how to identify missed opportunities--points in your story where you could have written more.

marshaldcarper.com

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  • 1. Perspective, Organization, and Missed Opportunities<br />Building the Skeleton of Your Story<br />Lecture Notes Are Property of Marshal D. Carper (marshaldcarper.com)<br />
  • 2. Perspective<br />Perspective is the point of view from which a story is told.<br />Perspective directly influences the style, the tone, and the content of a story.<br />Some stories fit better with certain types of perspective.<br />Author preference is a major factor.<br />Lecture Notes Are Property of Marshal D. Carper (marshaldcarper.com)<br />
  • 3. Types of Perspective<br />First Person: the story is told from the perspective of a character and tends to create an unreliable narrator.<br />Second Person: the story is told as if the reader is the main character. Relies heavily on the pronoun “you” and is extremely rare.<br />Third Person<br />Omniscient: the narrator knows everything and can reveal any character’s inner thoughts.<br />Limited: the narrator does not know everything and may only be able to reveal one character’s inner thoughts.<br />Lecture Notes Are Property of Marshal D. Carper (marshaldcarper.com)<br />
  • 4. Complex Perspective<br />Composite Perspective: story is told by multiple first person narrators.<br />Embedded Perspective: a character within a story temporarily acts as a first person narrator, resulting in first person within third person or first person within first person.<br />Allows you to introduce an unreliable narrator into a third person story.<br />Allows you to share action in a first person story that occurred when the narrator was not present.<br />Lecture Notes Are Property of Marshal D. Carper (marshaldcarper.com)<br />
  • 5. Choosing a Perspective<br />First Person: beneficial if main character’s thoughts, world view, and unreliability are an integral part of the story.<br />Second Person: mostly experimental, tends to be jarring and distracting, and is difficult to use effectively.<br />Third Person: detachment from characters creates a more objective narrative which can be especially useful for large, complex stories.<br />Lecture Notes Are Property of Marshal D. Carper (marshaldcarper.com)<br />
  • 6. Plot Triangle<br />Classic visualization of the progression of plot.<br />While it does reflect the development of tension, fails to represent the actual organization of a story.<br />Organization is much more complex than the plot triangle would lead us to believe.<br />Climax<br />Falling Action<br />Rising Action<br />Exposition<br />Lecture Notes Are Property of Marshal D. Carper (marshaldcarper.com)<br />
  • 7. Organization<br />Linear: scenes arranged in chronological order from start to finish.<br />Non-Linear: scenes are not arranged in chronological order.<br />1 2 3 4 5<br />5 1 2 3 4 5<br />Lecture Notes Are Property of Marshal D. Carper (marshaldcarper.com)<br />
  • 8. Linear vs. Non-Linear<br />Chronological order is simplistic and easy to understand but can be bland.<br />Non-linear organization allows you to use flashbacks, flashforwards, and cuts to create tension, develop characters, and to progress the plot.<br />If your transitions are sloppy, non-linear organization can be chaotic and confusing for your reader.<br />Lecture Notes Are Property of Marshal D. Carper (marshaldcarper.com)<br />
  • 9. Non-Linear Templates<br />The Preview: shows the reader what is to come to generate tension.<br />The Flash: cuts back to previous action to provide context.<br />5 1 2 3 4 5<br />1 -1 2 -1 3 -1 4<br />Lecture Notes Are Property of Marshal D. Carper (marshaldcarper.com)<br />
  • 10. Non-Linear Templates (cont.)<br />Cinematic: flashes back to various moments in the past to develop tension and context and to reveal details about characters.<br />The Orator: story is told many years later in a setting almost completely different from that of the story, allowing different characters to commentate and relate the story to a different time.<br />1 -4 2 -7 3 -2 4<br />100 1 2 3 4 5<br />Lecture Notes Are Property of Marshal D. Carper (marshaldcarper.com)<br />
  • 11. Most Dangerous Game<br />Told from a third person omniscient perspective and uses chronological organization.<br />Outline:<br />Rainsford and Whitney discuss the island.<br />Rainsford, alone on the deck, hears gunshots and falls into the water.<br />Rainsford swims toward the gunshots and finds land.<br />Rainsford awakens in the afternoon and follows the trail of a previous hunt into the jungle.<br />Rainsford stumbles upon a chateau and meets General Zaroff.<br />Rainsford dines with Zaroff, and Zaroff reveals that he hunts men (long scene).<br />Rainsford tries to sleep, realizes that he is a prisoner, and hears gunshots in the jungle.<br />Rainsford and Zaroff dine again. Zaroff gives Rainsford supplies.<br />Lecture Notes Are Property of Marshal D. Carper (marshaldcarper.com)<br />
  • 12. Most Dangerous Game Outline (cont.)<br />Rainsford runs through the jungle, begins to plot, and climbs into a tree at dark.<br />Zaroff tracks Rainsford to the tree but opts to give him more time.<br />Rainsford finds new resolve and begins to work on a plan.<br />Rainsford nearly catches Zaroff with a trap.<br />Rainsford builds a pit trap near the swamp.<br />One of Zaroff’s dogs falls into the trap.<br />Rainsford runs from the hounds and builds a trap with his knife.<br />The knife kills Ivan. Rainsford runs and jumps into the sea.<br />Zaroff returns to his chateau and dines.<br />Rainsford confronts Zaroff in his bedroom.<br />Rainsford sleeps.<br />Lecture Notes Are Property of Marshal D. Carper (marshaldcarper.com)<br />
  • 13. Analysis<br />The third person perspective allows the reader to “watch” the action, almost like a movie, and dips into the characters’ heads to provide insight.<br />The chronological organization creates a steady build of tension.<br />The threat of death is engaging.<br />The three day time limit creates an unseen timer in the reader’s head.<br />The near-successes of Rainsford’s traps create suspense and characterize Zaroff as a serious threat to Rainsford’s life.<br />Lecture Notes Are Property of Marshal D. Carper (marshaldcarper.com)<br />
  • 14. Missed Opportunities<br />Storytelling is about possibilities, the eternal “what if?”<br />Think like a reader. What would you want to know about your characters? What would you like to see?<br />Did you miss an opportunity to share dialogue? Action? Confrontation? A flashback?<br />Would changing the perspective or the organization create more possibilities?<br />Lecture Notes Are Property of Marshal D. Carper (marshaldcarper.com)<br />
  • 15. Identifying Missed Opportunities<br />Show; don’t tell. <br />If you say, “Becky hates spiders,” create a scene where Becky encounters a spider and reacts.<br />If characters reference a past event, flashback to it and show the scene.<br />Do you dedicate enough time to a major plot point? Can you develop it with more action?<br />Are your characters three dimensional? Can you show a mean character being nice?<br />What other obstacles can you put between your character and his/her goal?<br />Lecture Notes Are Property of Marshal D. Carper (marshaldcarper.com)<br />
  • 16. Assignments<br />Make “Most Dangerous Game” non-linear and write in transitions to create a coherent story.<br />Tips<br />Print out the story and cut the story into “chunks” using my outline as a guide. Move the pieces around to see how the story will fit together.<br />Think about the story as though it were an action movie.<br />Use one of the non-linear templates.<br />Chop up individual scenes to create a new controlling device.<br />Revise your story for missed opportunities. Do not fret over micro issues at this point.<br />Outline your story, and use the same strategy that you used to reorganize “Most Dangerous Game” to reorganize your story.<br />Consider a change in perspective.<br />Read an excerpt from Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood: http://franciscovazbrasil.blogspot.com/2010/10/in-cold-blood-by-truman-capote-excerpt.html<br />Next week: Developing Scenes.<br />Lecture Notes Are Property of Marshal D. Carper (marshaldcarper.com)<br />

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