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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?

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Magic in the Mundane

A comic is a string of sequential panels that are both literary and visual in their storytelling. Striking the balance between what is said with words and shown with pictures is essential to creating an immersive reading experience. Write a short script for a one-page comic. A practical starting point is to think about a small event that happened to you, for example…

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Reconsider the mundane

Think of a hobby or passion you have, outside of writing and literature. So perhaps baking, or dancing,…

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Don’t let them talk you out of it

Spend a little time identifying who the people are who might tell you not to write your memoir….

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Controlling your fear

Thomas Keneally says that, ‘Writing is an exercise in controlling your fear. Above all the fear that you…

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Inside the Shed

Sometimes we are really keen to tell our readers everything, to make sure that they understand what it…

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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…

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Drawing your childhood memories

We all have child’s eye views – many in fact. Some might say we’re already a step ahead…

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‘Heart’ words vs ‘Head’ words

As writers in English, we are in a uniquely privileged position, being able to choose between two languages…

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Head language and heart language

The short story, in its own kingdom between the novel and poetry, gets the best of both worlds….

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What’s the worst that could happen?

Fiction is almost always about unexpected consequences. A character wants something, they take actions towards getting that thing,…

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The 5 big mistakes people make when writing short stories

1. They waffle on like they’ve got all the pages in the world The stories that make the…

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