POV: Threat or Menace?
- Three lessons per week, with short exercises to drill down on the basics
- Field recons to give participants a toolkit of methods
- Optional Zoom sessions for Q&A
- Asynchronous, so that you can go at your own pace. Doing Week One exercises in Week Four will be just fine; and the end of the month won't be the end of access to the Instructor.
The key to storytelling is characterization, and Point of View is its main element. The POV judges the characters it looks at, and those judgments characterize the judge. POV is all about fear, hope, need, and worry. POV is the spice, the seasoning, and the sauce. We will discuss ways of avoiding blandness and insipid flavor. POV is often ill-understood, and the basis of many arguments in critique circles, so this course will seek to give you a firmer footing.
The first week: Establishing POV
The first job with POV is letting the reader know who or what it is. So we'll start with the methods for showing that.
Esaias's patented method of Field Reconnaissance will be employed, so that you may teach yourself from here on out.
The second week: Playing with POV
POV is actually the fun part of writing, especially in the revision process, and so we will embrace a spirit of play. POV lets you live other lives, see things differently, and fully immerse yourself in the imaginary world of your fiction. To do it well, you must remember that You Are In Charge Of Your Story. We will practice making changes to your POV, repeatedly, to remind you that you are the Master; and to take the fear out of facing a revision. POV is a game, with definite thrills. We will go there.
The third week
: Cheating & Second Person
Just because you picked a certain POV for your narrator, doesn't mean you can't introduce others into the story. Other characters are other POVs. Overheard conversations, newspaper articles, diary entries, are all opportunities to complicate the reader experience by introducing other views. Then your central POV gets to react. Cheating is a powerful technique. And the use of Second Person POV, while relatively rare, is an interesting experiment. In essence you address the reader directly; and isn't that what you mean to do, anyway?? We'll play with that some, because POV is, as you will learn, a game.
The fourth (and final end-of-everything-that-went-before) week: Head-hopping
Most books and writing instructors warn you against this technique, but it is ancient, valid, and widely used. The problem is that, if done badly, it confuses the reader. So we will address its problems, but also its many virtues.
About the Instructor:
- A practical understanding of this mysterious and confusing subject
- An understanding of how to enrich every page of your manuscript
- Instructor feedback on exercises
- Significant doses of courage
Timons Esaias is a satirist, writer and poet living in Pittsburgh. His works, ranging from literary to genre, have been published in twenty languages. He has also been a finalist for the British Science Fiction Award, and won the Asimov's Readers Award. His story "Norbert and the System" has appeared in a textbook, and in college curricula. His SF short story "Sadness" was selected for three Year's Best anthologies in 2015. Recent genre appearances include Asimov's
. His full-length Louis-Award-winning collection of poetry -- Why Elephants No Longer Communicate in Greek
-- was brought out by Concrete Wolf. His poetry publications include Atlanta Review
, Verse Daily
, Pittsburgh Poetry Review
, Willard & Maple
, Asimov’s Science Fiction
and Elysian Fields Quarterly: The Literary Journal of Baseball
Timmons is an Adjunct Faculty Member at Seton Hill University, in the Writing Popular Fiction MFA Program. He has taught the required POV module at Seton Hill for many years, and also the "Getting POV on the Page" module.
Why Elephants No Longer Communicate in Greek: link