A Seminar on Narrative Point of View
for fiction & nonfiction writers
with award-winning author, Jessamyn Hope
July 18, 2019, 09:30-15:00
How your story unfolds will depend in large part on who is telling it—that is, on your narrator. But how do you know which narrative point of view will best serve your story? Should your narrator be in first person or third? What about second? And if in third, should it be subjective, objective, or omniscient? Would it be better to have multiple points of view or stick with one? And what about tense? Should the narrator be telling a story that happened in the past, present, or possibly the future? If it’s in the past, from what vantage point is the narrator telling his or her story: the day after it all happened or fifty years later? And how does point of view affect the narrator’s voice?
Whether all of the above terminology is new to you or you have been thinking about Point of View for a long time and are merely unsure which one would work best for your current project, this seminar can help. Together we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of various narrative points of view so that you can choose the right one for your short stories, novels, and creative nonfiction. We will do this by studying your own favorite work of literature; by analyzing excerpts from famous novels; and by doing writing exercises based on your current work in progress.
Bio: Jessamyn Hope is an award-winning novelist and memoirist based in New York City. Her debut novel Safekeeping was a recommended read by The Boston Globe; acclaimed by The Globe and Mail; won the J.I. Segal Award; and was a finalist for the Paterson Fiction Prize and the Ribalow Prize. Her short memoirs—originally published in Ploughshares, Five Points, PRISM International, and other literary magazines—have received two Pushcart Prize honorable mentions and have been anthologized in Best Canadian Essays, The Broadview Anthology of Expository Prose and the forthcoming volume of The New Spice Box: Canadian Jewish Writing.
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