The Writer as Director—or Why we watched the rom-com Hitch
As we go along here and if you stick with me, you’ll discover that I take a different approach on the “Getting Started” topics you read about in “how to” books.
One example: I think outlines are a deadly way to start inventive work. Not that they aren’t useful down the road as part of the editing process—They are, of course. But I think an outline gets in the way of initial and formative and changing invention.
In this chapter, let’s talk about point of view.
Writers connect with their readers in the first sentence they write. We’re like directors with a camera. The writer-director tells the cameraman where to look: close-in or far out, where to move.
So for the term of art point of view in craft books, you’ll hear first person, third-limited or third person, second person (usually you’ll be told never to use this one—but remember all rules are made to be broken!).
I like "camera" as a term of art better than "point of view" because the camera takes me to the way I see, right to my father’s home movies and right smack into that dark theater or favorite book where I can disappear and come out transformed.
In the movie Hitch, the camera, moves right to Will Smith. We’re in his head.
So let’s consider what point of view we’re in when we see his first client, Kevin Sussman as Neil, on screen and not with Hitch. The camera shows us Neil, longing for the lovely actress he ends up with.
Are we in omniscient or all-knowing point of view? Is the camera-man and director like a god who sees all?
Well, sure and in many ways in this flick.
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I taught variations of this course at George Washington University, in the undergraduate and graduate MFA/Ph.D. creative writing program at the University of Missouri and at the Smithsonian's Campus-on-the-Mall. For more about me, Click Here
Chapter 5 coming soon ...