Character Development, Point of View, and Verb Tense

Daily Prompt #24Story Title Ideas

What would be some good ideas for titles for your fiction piece? Make a list of as many as you can.

Write for five minutes.

 

Today, I want you to start creating well-developed characters for the plot lines you began yesterday and deciding which point of view you want to tell your story from. Finally, you have to decide on a verb tense and make sure you are consistent!

First, let’s review the packet on “Creating Well-Developed Characters” together.

 

Today, we’re also going to consider point of view when writing our stories.

One way of considering it is by first (I), second (you), and third person (he/she) limited (we read thoughts of only certain characters) and omniscient (all-knowing).

Beyond these, you also have to think about the characters in your story. Sure, you know you want to use first person, but what if you use first person from the perspective of the family cat? Perspective is an integral part of point of view. Your possibilities are truly endless.

There are also advanced techniques such as free indirect style, stream-of-consciousness, and the unreliable narrator. Which will you choose?

As a writer, you have to really consider why you’re writing this story so you know who will be your most impactful storyteller.

Let’s play around with this idea for a bit by starting with a general scenario.

A family is seated around the dinner table.

Characters:
Mom (Diana): 47
Dad (Robert): 50
Daughter (Carly): 18
Son (Josh) :15
Daughter (Elle): 18 months
Pug (Othello): 10 (56 in dog years)

During dinner, Carly is going to announce she saw Josh kissing a girl at school. The reactions the family has (and how Carly announces it) are entirely up to you.

Each table will be assigned one of the following guidelines. Notice you are being assigned a verb tense as well (past or present).

  • First person, Carly’s perspective. Past tense.
  • Third person limited, Josh’s perspective. Present tense.
  • Third person omniscient. Past tense.
  • First person, Robert’s perspective. Present tense.
  • Third person limited, Elle’s perspective. Past tense.
  • Second person. present.
  • First person, Diana’s perspective. Past tense.

Let’s share a few to hear the difference.

 

For the remainder of the hour, complete as much of the character questionnaire as you can in your notebooks. Your ideas may change as you continue to develop your story and that’s okay!  The key is to simply start. I also want you to commit to a point of view and verb tense by writing your name on a post-it and putting it on the appropriate board.

I’d like to see your questionnaires when you’re done to give you points and mini conference.

One thought on “Character Development, Point of View, and Verb Tense

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