Narrator as Cinematographer

Third person POV can read every bit as close as first—it just takes some skill to manufacture that ever important camaraderie between the reader and main character. Joshua Mohr will show you how.

Your Instructor: Joshua Mohr, author of DAMASCUS, FIGHT SONG, SIRENS

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: January 8, 2019 - February 5, 2019

Enrollment: 16 students

Price: $350

Class Description

Writers figuring out how to work in the third person point of view face a common challenge: How do I make the work more emotional, more intimate, more immediate?

We know how to forge these bonds in the first person, and yet the third person can feel distant, obfuscating. In Narrator as Cinematographer, acclaimed author Joshua Mohr will unpack the various options when it comes to the third person POV.

You'll ponder how style, diction, syntax, and ultimately, the protagonists' preoccupations can take work that feels unemotional and transition it into something nimble, vibrant, and vital. Writers ranging from Chris Offutt to Colson Whitehead to Susan Steinberg will supply techniques and examples that you'll examine and thoughtfully poach.

The third person POV can read every bit as close as the first—it just takes some skill to manufacture that ever important camaraderie between the reader and main character. Mohr will show you the way. 

What This Class Covers

Week 1

You'll explore options in the 3rd, introducing its three subdivisions: objective, limited-omniscience, omniscience, as well as talk about how to decide which technique will be the most compelling for a certain project. And how do you foster intimacy in the 3rd person with this narrator acting as a middle-person between reader and main character?

Week 2

Mohr will introduce the class' thesis—Narrator as Cinematographer—with full omniscience, showing how to cohesively transition from one consciousness to the next on the page. And if you can travel into anyone's head/heart, how do you know which psychology should dominate a scene?

Week 3

You'll turn your attention to limited omniscience, only traveling into the heads and hearts of certain characters, typically our protagonist(s). You'll practice the skill of signaling the differences in perception between the narrator and the main character. You'll also introduce two new terms to you discussion: the restricted vs. the unrestricted narrator in 3rd person.

Week 4

For the final week, you'll turn your attention to the objective 3rd, the most minimal POV option in the 3rd, though one that is deceptively difficult to master. In this "fly on the wall" technique, in which you can't travel into anyone's head/heart, how do we still produce work that's emotionally evocative and meaningful to the audience?

Goals Of This Class

  • To understand the various options in 3rd person POV strategy.
  • To hone the mechanism to know which strategy will best serve the narrative's intentions.
  • To practice and implement these choices.
  • To build deep, thoughtful, intimate characterizations, ones most often associated with the immediacy of the 1st person.
  • To get our POV black belt!
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