Crafting Subjectivity Within Objective Point of View

When writing prose from a third person (objective) point of view, what kind of techniques can you use to portray the subjective viewpoint of your characters? Cheryl and James explore this challenge, using Hugh Howey‘s hit thriller WOOL, along with HARRY POTTER, as fodder for the discussion.

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In The Narrative Breakdown, Cheryl Klein, James Monohan, and other guest co-hosts discuss storytelling tips and techniques of interest to any writer, student, or fan of quality creative writing, screenwriting, playwriting, fan fiction, English literature, etc. Each episode, Cheryl and James draw upon their respective experiences in publishing and filmmaking to analyze popular novels, movies, plays, television shows, short stories, and song lyrics. Featuring various co-hosts and writers, as well as material from Cheryl Klein’s book ‘Second Sight’ and James’ iPhone / iPad app ‘The Storyometer.’


6 Responses to “Crafting Subjectivity Within Objective Point of View”

  1. James Kennedy May 1, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    I’m surprised you didn’t bring up the most powerful tool for expressing first-person subjectivity within third-person narration, free indirect style:


    James Wood (the New Yorker book reviewer) offers a pretty thorough treatment of free indirect style in his useful book “How Fiction Works.” I’d be interested to hear a future episode about how this technique has been / can be deployed in children’s / YA fiction.

    • James May 1, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

      Hi James. Funny, after we recorded that episode, we realized that “free indirect style” was a term we neglected to mention. “How Fiction Works” is great. I think we’ll do a follow-up episode on this whole topic soon. Thanks for the recommendation.

      • James Kennedy May 1, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

        James recommends to James a book by James; James thinks it’s a great idea!

        • James May 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

          Lol! It’s a good name to have.

  2. James Kennedy May 1, 2013 at 12:11 am #

    Also: “heaps of dread were locked up in her expression”? Bleah. Almost every example from that book clunked hard.

  3. Karen Soarele April 23, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    Thank you very much for this amazing program! The tips you gave are certainly going to make a difference in my next book. I am a brazilian self-published author.

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