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Creative Writing

3. Whose Perspective? Narrative Viewpoint

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In this module, we think about narrative viewpoint, focusing in particular on: (i) Mark Baechtel's Shaping the Story (2003) and the importance of limiting the number of perspectives; (ii) the advantages and disadvantages of first-person narration and free indirect style; and (iii) an example of free indirect style from Nadeem Aslam's Maps for Lost Lovers (2011).


In this course, the writer and critic Edmund Gordon (author of The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography) provides some tips and tricks for improving one's creative writing, both fiction and non-fiction. In the first module, we think about the importance of details when it comes to one's writing (cf. Colm Tóibín's dictum that "a novel is a thousand details"). After that, in the second module, we think about narrative and plot, focusing in particular on the narrative theories of Aristotle (Poetics, c. 335 BC) and E. M. Forster (Aspects of the Novel, 1927). In the third module, we think about narrative viewpoint, before turning in the fourth module to explore why and how we create vivid, memorable characters. In the fifth and final module, we think about the importance of dialogue in creative writing.


Edmund Gordon is a writer and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at King's College, London. His first book, The Invention of Angela Carter (2016) received the Somerset Maugham Award, the Biographers’ Club/Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize and a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Nonfiction, and was a finalist for the US National Book Critics’ Circle Award. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018.

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APA style

Gordon, E. (2022, April 11). Creative Writing - Whose Perspective? Narrative Viewpoint [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Gordon, E. "Creative Writing – Whose Perspective? Narrative Viewpoint." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 11 Apr 2022,

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