Past tense versus present tense (tip 56) Reply

Any sensible person would probably accept that the past tense and the present tense are equally good and which is best will depend on the piece of writing and the author. After all, one needn’t look far for fine novels in the present tense: think Cormac McCarthy, J.M. Coetzee, Hilary Mantel, and many others. But D.D. Johnston is not a sensible person. In this video, he argues for the superiority of the past tense.

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First person perspectives & narrative complexity (tip 52) Reply

Having talked previously about when you should and shouldn’t write in the first person, in this video D.D. Johnston considers dramatic irony and how you can add complexity by using a peripheral narrator or an unreliable narrator.

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Third person point of view: omniscient, subjective, & external (tip 42) 3

D.D. Johnston discusses writing in the third person. He considers three main types of third person perspectives: the third person omniscient, the third person objective (or external), and the third person subjective (or limited). He concludes that the third person subjective should be most writers’ default viewpoint.

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Choosing your point of view: when to write in the first person (tip 40) Reply

Many of us begin writing in the first person, often without considering whether it’s the best point of view for our story. So here’s a link to a test that can help decide whether first person is right for you. And here, in the video below, you’ll find D.D. Johnston’s reflections on meeting Richard Ford, and on when writing in the first person is and isn’t a good idea.

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Writing in the second person and an introduction to point of view (tip 39) Reply

Writers have three choices when it comes to point of view (the perspective from which a story is told). The vast majority of stories are told in the first person or the third person, and as we’ll see in future videos, these options come with multiple complexities, variations, and pitfalls. But in this video we take a look at the rarest option: the second person.

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