POINT-OF-VIEW EXERCISE

This exercise gains its value when you compare your submission with the work of others in the class who have chosen to tell the story from different character points of view. It is the only exercise that forces a story upon you, but slight creative license enables you to claim back the freedom you need to turn out a first rate creative piece.

We are going to present a summary of a cheap pulpy story for you here. You pick a character and tell some part of the story from that character's point of view. (Don't try to tell it all (just go into the story at the points that interest you), and feel free to deviate somewhat from the summary in providing back story or background on your character). Let the narration be in the THIRD PERSON (he/she) but make it close third person — let us see the world through the narrative character's eyes, using his/her vocabulary, attitude and view of the world.

Also, the scene that you narrate could be just a starting point for the narrator's own reflected thoughts.

The setting is the coffee shop of a motel on the outskirts of Ambrose, California, a coastal town a hundred miles from Los Angeles. Julian Braithburn, a 50-year-old group manager of the regional office of a major insurance company in Los Angeles and his young secretary, Kacey, are at breakfast.

Evan Zest, a disk jockey from San Francisco who came here to make a speech last night to a local women's group enters, and before he sits down at the counter to order breakfast, he and Kacey make noticeable eye contact.

This triggers a loud argument between Kacey and Julian. Robin, who was in the audience last night for Evan's speech and has come back to the motel for breakfast on the chance of meeting Evan Zest, watches all of this in angry silence.

Kacey stands up and storms out, muttering to herself, stepping on Robin's toe and bumping into the waiter, Steph Presh, who moonlights as the lead guitarist in a local heavy-metal group called "Render Truth."

Julian, still steaming at his table, is approached by Malcolm Bankstrom, a worldly and elderly scion of the town of Ambrose, who has come out to the motel for a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce. Malcolm Bankstrom offers Julian some words of advice. Julian insults the man.

Loretta, an older, unmarried school teacher who has witnessed the proceedings too, shakes her head in dismay. Steph Presh accidentally spills coffee on Julian, and Julian punches him in the face.