Points of View: Writing Polyvocal Fiction
What makes a piece of fiction “voicey”? What does it mean for us as writers to be inside our character’s voice? How do we switch into the voice of a different character in the same piece of fiction? How much page time does a character need in a story with multiple voices? Do characters experience the same event from different points of view, or do they examine different events in kaleidoscopic perspectives? This polyvocal fiction workshop will interrogate how we write one story from the point of view of two or more characters. Our characters might all speak in the first person, or one may be in first while another is in third. We might have two narrators, each speaking for the other. The list of possibilities is long. But most importantly, we will look at a story from inside the mind of more than one person in it. We will then decide how that story might be told by each of those people. To set ourselves some examples, we will read for class works by Jacqueline Woodson, Elizabeth Acevedo, Jennifer Egan, Tommy Orange, and Lisa Ko, and workshop our own original writing.