Exploring different third person points of view
Write part of a story in the form of a scene from a play, beginning with a description of the setting and then using dialogue and stage directions to show what happens and how the characters feel about it. Make sure you have at least three characters and bring them on to the stage from different directions. They need not all stay for the whole scene.
Choose one of the characters and re-write the scene as part of a book, writing in the third person, from the point of view of one of the characters. Try to identify with that character as strongly as possible. Obviously, he or she will be looking at the scene from a particular position and will notice some things more than others. Try to capture that ‘camera angle’, as well as communicating the character’s feelings. What happens in the scene should stay the same, but feel free to cut any dialogue that seems superfluous.
Now rewrite the play scene again, still in the third person, but this time from the viewpoint of a different character, in a different position. Once again, identify as strongly as you can and try to capture that character’s feelings and viewpoint while keeping the action moving. Cut superfluous dialogue and notice whether it’s the same dialogue as you cut in the first rewrite or whether different things now seem unnecessary.
Were the two rewrites very different from each other?
Did they help you to understand more about the characters?
If you were to rewrite the scene from the play, would you make any changes now?Find out more
Subjective third person narrative
When I was a child, like most young readers I wanted to identify with the characters in books….Find out more
Bringing Dramatic Action Into A Scene
The purpose of this exercise is to help us bring dramatic action to our scenes. Firstly we should…Find out more
Inside the Shed
Sometimes we are really keen to tell our readers everything, to make sure that they understand what it…Find out more
You don’t have to tell young readers as much as you think
There is sometimes an assumption that younger readers won’t understand what’s going on unless the plot and the…Find out more
If you think about plays you’ve enjoyed, that stay with you, and try and work out why they…Find out more
Gas Ring – the game
A quick exercise to show the importance of writing high stakes for your characters when writing a play….Find out more
Exaggerate to accumulate
This is an exercise in what the comedian Stewart Lee calls “exaggerating for comic effect.” He was being…Find out more
Drawing out the comedy
Somebody famously said that writing comedy is harder than writing drama because in comedy you have to do…Find out more
Cut the fluff
There is, of course, no rule that says you should never write dialogue that looks exactly like real…Find out more