Monday, July 02, 2007

POV switch

For the class I'm taking on point of view we had two assignments for this week and I did both of them wrong. Nevertheless I learned some things. The general idea was to switch the point of view in a story you've written previously. I tried that with my bowling story, only I didn't switch the point of view, but the perspective. I shifted it from first-person present to first-person past, because one thing I picked up last week was the notion of reflection in the first person. How much time has the narrator had to reflect on what has happened? I rather laboriously shifted the story to past and thought I had solved all my problems, because it jumps ahead three months in the end, and I always felt it was awkward to jump from present to present. But now I'm not so sure. The story seems to depend on immediacy, on the narrator not knowing what's happening, or just barely keeping up... I think I'll do what Updike does in the notorious "A & P," which is in first-present, but the author just drops a few hints that he's narrating the story from later point in time (something like, "and now here's the part of the story that my parents think is strange..."). When he jumps ahead at the end to reflect, it's not jarring.

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