Session Six

Third-Person Narratives and Using Different Literary Forms

Discussion of Assignment Five – 10 minutes 

Return Assignment Four with your comments. Ask the group about the current assignment: How did writing in the third-person add narrative distance to your story? Was it difficult to imagine yourself from an outsider’s perspective? Did you write about something surprising, perhaps something you wouldn’t have revealed in the first person?

Sharing Stories & Feedback – 30 minutes 

Ask for volunteers to read their fifth assignments. Allow participants to provide positive critique on the work by offering comments. Some questions to consider:

  • Did the writer convey the setting, or a sense of time and place?
  • Were the details provided appropriate for the characters? For instance, if the story was written from a child’s perspective, does the writer remain true to the “child” by using words a child would use and making observations a child would make?
  • Did the story flow well or were there places that were confusing?
  • What would happen to this story if it were written from a first-person point of view? Would it change?

In-Class Examples: By Ellie Porter, Clyde Wehrle, Bob Harvey – 15 minutes

Distribute hard copies, examples of pieces rewritten in different literary forms. Read the pieces aloud, and ask the group:

  • How did each piece change through the use of a different literary form?
  • As a reader (or a listener), what form works best? How are the stories different based on the literary forms they take?

Explaining Assignment Six – 5 minutes

Distribute this week’s assignment (Rewrite a piece in a different literary form). Encourage participants to think about what details to include or exclude, depending on their chosen literary form. Since this exercise may be difficult for some, consider giving the alternate assignment of writing a piece in a literary form of the participant’s choice.