View Points


Point of View and Voice

This weeks studies have been about Point of View and Voice. Many of the exercises undertaken are from Ursula Le Guin’s excellent book ‘Steering the Craft’. This relatively short book of 140pp, including glossary and appendix, grows on me every time I open it. This book is also almost the exact length of the second half of Stephen Kings ‘On Writing’. King said in his second forward to his well known book about writing that such books are full of ‘bullshit’ and the shorter they are the less excrement they contain.

I don’t think Le Guin’s book contains any ‘unnecessary words’, nor does it contain any bovine waste material. This little gem is packed with information, examples, exercises and personal challenges to the would-be writer. It is clearly written and well laid out. In eight pages she defines and describes five principle points of view and provides a written example of a scene for each one. This is typical of the intensity of this book.

My hard copy paperback, bought in September as I began this study, is now looking distinctly dog-eared.

The weeks readings also included a visit to Emma Darwin’s blog, This Itch of Writing. There are many useful resources here and I recommend subscribing. Here is a link: https://emmadarwin.typepad.com/thisitchofwriting/


To London

This week, as well as our usual readings and exercises, George and I took the train to London to attend a workshop run by Andrew Wille, author of the syllabus we are following.

The workshop took place at the Victoria and Albert museum and was titled ‘Food: Bigger than the Page’. It had originally been scheduled to coincide with an exhibition about food curated by the museum. I shan’t repeat details of the workshop content here, a report is available on Andrew’s website at https://wille.org/blog/2020/01/27/food-in-writing/

Andrew’s relaxed style of workshop delivery encouraged participation and experiment. Food, or rather its absence, has a significant role in the larger work I am planning, so this workshop was both useful and enjoyable.


Tube Strain v2

Anyone who is curious about how I used the feedback from last weeks post can read the new version of Tube Strain at: https://www.riklonsdale.com/post/tube-strain

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