Narrative Eyeballs: Point of View in Fiction (with Carolyn Zaikowski) - ONLINE
Point of view is perhaps one of the most taken-for-granted elements of fiction. Like a movie’s background music, audiences don’t always consciously notice it. Yet it informs character creation, characters’ relationships to each other and their worlds, and even entire plots. Through discussions and reflections, in-class and at-home exercises, and short readings, we’ll dive into the below-the-surface hows, whys, and whats of point of view. This will include learning different terms and approaches associated with point of view, its relationship to character building and voice, how plots are related to narrative intimacy or distance, and point of view’s surprising psychological components. Students will leave with in-depth knowledge of this fascinating fiction element, and various tools for applying it. The at-home portion of this course is approximately one hour per week. Limited to 10 writers.
Workshopping / Feedback: There will be no formal, traditional workshopping of stories in this workshop. Instead, we will engage with fun exercises related to point of view, and each week students may choose to share, discuss, and debrief what they've come up with for their exercises. This might include sharing scenes or characters that the exercises inspired them to sketch and/or insight they gained into their brainstorming process or fiction projects.
Level: This class is for advanced beginners, though can be useful for intermediate students looking to refresh their knowledge of point of view. Students should come to class with basic ideas for stories or characters, and/or excerpts from drafts they're working on.
Pre-Class Reading / Preparation for First Class: Students will be sent three short pieces to read prior to the first class; reading time should not exceed 30 minutes.
Weekly Workload: 1 hour per week of at-home reading; 1 hour per week of optional at-home exercises
WHEN: 4 Weeks: Tuesdays, September 6 - 27 (6 - 8pm EST)
WHERE: Online, via Zoom video conference
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
CAROLYN ZAIKOWSKI is is the author of two hybrid novels. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared widely, in publications such as The Washington Post, The Rumpus, PANK, West Branch, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Naropa University's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and is currently an English professor and volunteer death doula.
GOALS OF THIS WORKSHOP
-To develop an understanding of terms and concepts related to point of view
-To study and dissect short examples from the masters
-To explore the narrative and psychological purposes and possibilities of points of view
-To put concepts into practice with exploratory exercises
-To gain point-of-view skills for your fiction-writing toolkit
Each week will include in-class discussions and exploratory exercises, short at-home readings, and suggested at-home exercises. Weekly topics will loosely break down as follows:
WEEK ONE: THE POWER OF THE LENS: WHY POINT OF VIEW?
We’ll get introduced to the concept of point of view and see some ways in which it’s surprisingly psychological.
WEEK TWO: UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: WHY FIRST?
We’ll explore first person “I” and its particular powers.
WEEK THREE: IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT YOU: WHY SECOND?
We’ll move on to the second person “you” and some dynamic, often underappreciated, effects it can have.
WEEK FOUR: THE EYEBALL WATCHING IT ALL: WHY THIRD?
Lastly, we’ll get to the “he/she/they” third person, including the concepts of limited and omniscient.
RECEIVING THE ZOOM LINK: For one-day workshops, we send out the link to attend the Zoom session 1 - 2 days before the event, via email. For multi-week workshops, you should receive info and the link about 3 - 5 days before. Please mark your calendars when you first register and look for our emails. If you don't see the email in your inbox on the day before the class, please check your spam and junk mail folders (and search all folders) for an email from email@example.com before contacting us. We have found that very often our emails end up in those folders. This is based on your own email settings, and you can prevent this by adding our email as a contact.
ONLINE SESSIONS happen remotely, via Zoom video conference. All you need is a laptop, computer, or phone with functioning audio and a webcam. Those who RSVP receive directions and a link to "join" the session via email (please see above note about receiving the Zoom link). All online instructors will log on to the video conference a few minutes before the start of the session, so please plan to log on early if you'd like assistance! We'll do everything in our power to help you get comfortable with the Zoom format, though we are not able to offer technical assistance beyond basic Zoom orientation.
REFUND & CREDIT POLICIES AT PVWW
Because of non-refundable fees that we, PVWW, must pay for every transaction that happens, we are not able to give full refunds to those who register then withdraw from a workshop or class. If you withdraw from a workshop ten days or more before the start of the class: You'll receive full credit toward another workshop or class of equal value OR a refund minus 10%. If you withdraw from a workshop nine days before the start of the class up until 48 hours before: You'll receive full credit toward another class OR a refund minus 30%. If you withdraw from a workshop less than 48 hours before the start of a class or after the class has begun: We are not able to offer you credit toward another class or a partial refund, unless in the case of a medical emergency. If we have to cancel a class for any reason, you will receive a full refund, or if you choose, a credit in the amount of your payment, to be used for any future PVWW class. Anyone who does not specify whether they would like a refund or a credit for a cancelled class within 3 months will automatically be refunded. Please contact Joy (firstname.lastname@example.org) for all matters concerning credit and refunds.