Change Your Point of View

In 15 chapters, Sherri Szeman, English professor and award-winning author, gives point of view perhaps the most useful and the most exhaustive examination it has ever have received. Mastering Point of View gives you a thorough breakdown of POV and teaches by example.

Citing Dickens’ Pip, Joyce’s Araby and Burgess’ Alex within just a few pages of each other, Szeman offers specific instances from classic works to make her points and to better teach the reader/writer how to become well-versed in the many examples of points of view.

Here are a few useful exercises from Chapter 2 on Unlimited Point of View:

1. Write a scene involving at least three characters having a conflict. Even if you include dialogue in the scene, show the thoughts, feelings and unspoken motivations of all three characters. Present everything about one character before moving on to the next character. Each of the characters should be presented equally sympathetically, that is, your readers should understand the motivations and behavior of all three characters equally. If you can, try to make your readers feel the same level of emotion about each of the three characters.

2. Do exercise one again, only this time present the information about the characters in a more flexible manner, that is, go back and forth among the characters so that the information on any one character is not presented all at the same time, in the same paragraph. Each of the characters should be presented equally sympathetically. Show the scene to your readers for their feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Check out Mastering Point of View ($16.99).

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