POINT OF VIEW Terence Kuch Arlington (Virginia) Writers Group December 11, 2013
Outline of Presentation 1. What is POV? Looking From / Looking At 2. Points of View in Fiction: The Standard Account 2.1 Levels of POV in Fiction 2.2 Single POV 2.3 Limited POV 2.4 Omniscient POV 3. “Objective” Style and Mind-Reading 4. Interactions of POV / Person / Tense 5. “Rules” and Practices > continued <
Outline of Presentation >continued< 6. The POV Character v. The Protagonist 7. Choosing a Point of View 8. Character and POV 9. Additional Topics 9.1 Aesthetic Distance 9.2 Reliable and Unreliable Narrators 10. Exercises (optional) 11. Selected Quotations (.doc only)
1 What is POV? Looking From / Looking At “How the story is told” “Method and perspective” But we need to be more specific than that …
Think of Yourself a Camera But with sometimes faulty perception With a personality With a predisposition to see some things and not others, and in certain ways With a goal of telling a certain story, a certain kind of story And with a point of view. Where is the point of view (looking from / looking to) in ……….
2 Points of View in Fiction: The Standard Account.. Single POV.. Limited POV.. Omniscient POV
Levels of Points of View Actual Readers The Writer’s Ideal Reader The Narrator Inside the Story The Writer Writing a Specific Piece The Individual Who Writes, Sometimes The Narrative Voice of the Piece Human Beings in General The Writer When He’s ‘Being a Writer’
3 The ‘Objective’ Style - What it is; How to Use It “Rob looked at his wife. ‘She’s so unhappy,’ he thought. He wondered what to say.” How could this be effectively written in the ‘Objective’ style? The ‘Objective’ style can be effective: “Maude gave Jimmy a big smile and hugged him. ‘I love you,’ she said.” But this kind of narrative is possible within an overall mind-reading style, too.
5 ‘Rules’ And Practices What readers expect What editors expect Breaking a ‘rule’
6 The POV Character v The Protagonist POV is the Protagonist POV is a “Buddy” of the Protagonist POV is Some Other Character POV is an Impersonal Narrator Not Present in the Story’s Action POV is an Intrusive External Narrator; Is a Voice in the Story
7 Choosing A Point Of View What you want your story to accomplish What depth of character you want to portray How you want to present your characters How each major character relates to the others What POV is best suited to the plot Are there two main characters pitted against each other? AND many other considerations
8 Character And Point Of View In Single, Limited, Omniscient In ‘Objective’ Style
9 Additional Topics Aesthetic Distance Reliable and Unreliable Narrators