Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing,  workshops

Point of View

Point of View…

I’ve been having a really fun discussion about point of view with a writer who took the new point of view online workshop in October. We have been talking about how there is no omniscient in fiction writing and how summary openings that feel omniscient have viewpoint, both author and character, often combined.

For me, putting the point of view online workshop together was really fun. I was able to get past the basics in the first week and really start working on other deeper skills with writers.

The point of the POV workshop was to not only give writers new tools, but make writers aware of the vast universe of flexibility in point of view. And how to control readers with your levels of point of view.

It seems to have worked wonderfully from the feedback I have gotten and also a couple wonderful discussions. But only one person is signed up in December for the POV workshop so far. I would have thought that workshop would be one of the regular major ones that might fill every month. But just like dialog, I suppose it seems too obvious to early level writers. But it isn’t.

The six week workshop only scratched the surface of the skill stage four writers use in controlling POV.

Control of both dialog and of point of view is how writers hold readers into their stories.

So for those of you who took the POV workshop the first time through (and who are taking it in November, just getting started), thanks for the great discussions and for allowing me to keep learning as well.

Tracking Fiction Page
Tracking Exercise Page
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  • Maree

    I’m sort of at a loss with the workshops. Is there plans in the works to redesign those pages?

    I’d love to see some sort of designation indicating whether they’re entry level, intermediate, advanced etc, and what study area they are related to, what courses are best to follow up with etc.

    It seems like you advise taking Writing with Depth first, but the suggested follow ups are different in the curriculum list to in the actual class description, and none of the class names are active links so there is a lot of back and forth to find out what happens in which class.

    Now that I’ve written out all these complaints I’m suddenly sure that you already know all this. But anyway, that’s my experience with attempting to navigate the pages and plan what classes to take. Maybe it’s of some help.

    I plan on taking the Writing with Depth class in February, but beyond that I don’t know. Every time you highlight a class in a post like this I go ‘oh, that one! I should take that!” I guess I’ll take the first workshop and then see. Do you give suggestions after a person has taken that first class, as to what weaknesses should be addressed first? If so I should just settle down and save up.

    • dwsmith

      Hi, Maree,

      Actually, we have a curriculum page.

      That page gives the order in each area or if an order is needed to take the workshops and which workshop is suggested before taking it. All pretty clear there as far as we can go because past that it is up to each author to decide what they feel they need and at what time. We have tried to cover a range of topics in writing.

      As for a redesign, slowly, yes. The lectures will be at a new place shortly. We have 27 active lectures at the moment on different topics in writing. Those will soon be much, much easier to sign up for and use. Workshops will take a little longer to get into a new place.

      And yes, I will be redoing the pages on the workshops to follow the curriculum in order. But that will take me until the end of the year to get done. Just slowly improving these. We never intended these workshops to last this long or keep growing like this, so we didn’t design a structure to start. And thus the problem. (grin)

  • Julie

    I’m the writer on the course that Dean mentions (hi, Dean!) and just wanted to confirm what an interesting course it was. I’ve just been rereading the course notes this morning and turning to the novels on my shelf to study some more how experienced writers handle point of view and it’s really, really eye-opening.

    It’s one of those courses that provides you with useful questions to ask in your own study of other people’s work, and that’s hugely valuable.

    Thanks again, Dean, for a fascinating course.