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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

Novel Essentials: Narrative Perspective

No Longer Enrolling

  • $75.00 Non-Member
  • $65.00 Member

Class Description

The narrative voice of any novel has an immense impact on the book’s effect on readers. Is the story told in the first person, or is the narrator omniscient, able to dip in and out of all the characters’ perspectives at will? Should the narrative stick closely to the perspective of a bystander, or should the reader be privy to the protagonists’ thoughts and emotions? Determining how much information readers should receive and in what way they should receive it are crucial and often thorny problems for all novelists. In this seminar, we will discuss the various options for narrative voices and the technical ramifications of each. We will look at notable examples of each voice from published authors in order to explore the advantages and disadvantages of each voice.

Using in-class writing exercises and group discussion, we will analyze which narrative voice might suit each attendee’s novel and why, experimenting with different options and examining the ways in which novels can be altered by changing the narrative voice. By the end of the seminar, each writer will have a clear sense of the pros and cons of different narrative voices and a good sense of which voice might work best for their own novel.

Part of GrubStreet's Novel Essentials Series, led by Ursula DeYoung and dedicated to exploring the fundamental building blocks of the novel. Classes include:

Scholarships Format/Location

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!