Creative Writers, free yourselves! Alternatives to the cinematic mode of narration (tip 62) 4

In the beginning, cinema took its inspiration from older forms of narrative including literature. But even in the 19th-century, realist writers were comparing their work to photography, and during the 20th-century many prose authors, including Wyndham Lewis and Christopher Isherwood, took inspiration from film. Published in 1960, John Updike’s present-tense novel Rabbit, Run was subtitled originally, “A Movie”, and he was explicit that “The present tense was in part meant to be an equivalent of the cinematic mode of narration.” From what I’ve seen, the cinematic mode of narration often dominates Creative Writing classrooms. But what is it? What are its limitations? And what are our alternatives?


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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