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Friday, May 5 • 4:00pm - 5:15pm
4H: Everybody’s Talking at Me: How Eliminating Multiple Points of View Might Save Your Novel (and Your Sanity)
Limited Capacity seats available

The challenge of a big, sprawling, multiple point of view novel is one that most writers find irresistible – but one whose risk-to-benefit ratio may be hazardous. With each POV shift, the writer runs the risk of interrupting John Gardner’s “fictional dream”; with each new story line introduced by new narrators, the writer risks dissipating tension. And a multiplicity of points of view can lead to a flatness of characterization for non-POV characters.

In this session, I will argue that a single POV – or a drastic reduction in the number of narrators – may actually present the greater challenge to the novelist, while also providing greater rewards. Using examples and exercises, we’ll discuss techniques to bring all of your characters to life through the eyes of a single narrator, using subtext and narrative unreliability to allow the reader to see what your narrator can’t see. We’ll also do an exercise designed to help you decide whether or not you have too many narrators – and which of them should be eliminated.

Speakers
avatar for Lisa Borders

Lisa Borders

Author, THE FIFTY-FIRST STATE
Lisa Borders’ second novel, The Fifty-First State, was published by Engine Books in 2013. Her first novel, Cloud Cuckoo Land, was chosen by Pat Conroy as the winner of River City Publishing’s Fred Bonnie Award, and received fiction honors in the 2003 Massachusetts Book Awards. Lisa's short stories have appeared in Washington Square, Black Warrior Review, Painted Bride Quarterly and other journals. She has an essay in Soap Opera Confidential: Writers and Soap Insiders on Why We'll Tune in Tomorrow As the World Turns Restlessly by the Guiding Light of Our Lives (McFarland... Read More →


Friday May 5, 2017 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Cabot Room

Attendees (25)