Deciding on a point of view is one of the hardest tasks a writer faces. Here is expert advice on discovering whose story you are telling, and on point of view as seen by the characters, the audience, the writer, the camera, and more. And you'll hear DiMaggio's own point of view on what it means to be a writer - passion for the process, learning about yourself, scaling the wall of rejection and growing with your characters.Key Concepts:
Opposing points of view create conflict which propels your story A character's principal trait determines his/her point of view Novelists should study screenwriting to learn how to think visually Awareness of who you are as a writer will make your story shine
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Madeline DiMaggio wants you to know that her workshop is not about points of view, per se. In other words, she?s doesn?t know jack about ?limited omniscient,? or ?first person? ? all that boring stuff you learned in English class. No, no, no, hip, cool Madeline, who enunciates strongly in the polished style of, say, a junior college instructor, wants to dispense with such formal approaches to writing. After all, what?s the point, right? To her, ?point of view? literally means ?who?s telling the story.? Is it a man? A woman? A dead body lying on a gurney? It?s a pretty unimpressive take on point of view, I must say; she should be admonished severely for misusing the term.
One should also know that this workshop is geared towards screenwriters, not novelists. So if you are a novelist, run far, run far away? What makes a good screenplay, you might be asking yourself? According to Madeline, lots of white space, lots and lots of white space ? in other words, not a lot of dialogue. Later she contradicts herself by reaching out to novelists and encouraging them to study screenplay writing so that they can learn to write what? Yep ? good dialogue, which as it turns out, is pretty important after all.
The workshop starts off very seriously, like a class on writing; she lists off various categories of points of view in her wonderfully confident manner. It?s exciting, but it?s all smoke and mirrors. For a moment, one almost feels the need to take notes, but then the ?lesson? quickly dissolves into the usual pep talk stuff found on most of these recordings. She tells you her personal success story, laden with downfalls and little lucky breaks; we find out about her experience writing Kojak episodes and Rhoda; the audience laughs appreciatively, she takes questions, she encourages, ho hum. Because it?s all delivered well, it?s fun to listen to, but it?s not much more than that. It's certainly not going to teach you very much about writing. Two stars.
I was so disappointed! I was expecting a lecture in the use of point of view in writing, and how it affects the story, instead she told a bunch of autobiographical stories about her life in the industry! There was nothing I could have taken away from this to help me become a better writer. Her main mesage was that Hollywood is tough, you'll get rejected a billion times, but keep writing.