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Elements of Fiction: Deep Dive into Point of View (in-person class)

July 12, 2022 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT

Sharon Harrigan

Instructor: Sharon Harrigan
$150 Members | $165 Nonmembers
Tuesdays, 6/7/22 – 7/12/22 | 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Before signing up for this in-person class, please read the following statement about requirements to enroll:

All in-person students must be fully vaccinated and provide WriterHouse staff with proof of vaccination. For summer term, masks are optional, but in the event of significant Covid-19 upticks, students must be prepared for the mask policy to change and to transition to a virtual platform if necessary. No refunds will be issued if in-person classes/seminars need to transition to an online format.

Perhaps you have an idea for a story or a novel. One of the biggest decisions you have to make is which point of view to use. Or maybe you’ve already written a story or a novel. Are you sure the point of view you’ve chosen best fits the material? Point of view is one of the most confusing and misunderstood aspects of fiction writing. It’s so much more complicated than deciding whether to use I (first person), you (second person), or he/she (third person). If you choose a non-default POV such as first or second person, how will you make the reader believe that your narrator has a compelling reason to tell this story now—and an audience in the fictional world the narrator is telling the story to? How will you immerse us in the narrator’s consciousness enough to justify the limitations of this more restrictive POV? And if you choose to write in third person, which kind of third person will you use—the kind that allows us access into only one character’s head or all of them? If you’re writing a novel, can you use different points of view in different chapters?

We will spend the first part of each class analyzing short excerpts from published stories and novels that use each kind of POV, both familiar and unusual. During the second part, we will do related in-class exercises and writing prompts. By the end of six weeks, you will not only have more control over your own writing, but more understanding and appreciation of what you read.

Sharon Harrigan is the author of the debut novel Half, which was published in summer 2020, and the memoir Playing with Dynamite, published in 2017. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific University and has published more than 50 personal essays, short stories, and reviews in such venues as Virginia Quarterly Review, New York Times (Modern Love), and Narrative. A starred Booklist review called Half “suspenseful, lyrical, and consuming,” and Publishers’ Weeklycalled the novel “riveting and inventive.”

Sharon’s current and former students have published their work in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, The Rumpus, NPR, Gravel, The Guardian, Gettysburg Review, Bay Journal, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Living Luthern Magazine, Mothers Always Write, Fluvanna Review, Charlottesville Family, The Ethos Collection, and Strong4Life, among others.

This class has already begun. Prior to the second week, you may still register by emailing programs@writerhouse.org.


July 12, 2022
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Sharon Harrigan


508 Dale Avenue
Charlottesville, 22902 United States
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