The Late Student, Part 3 – All about you
Welcome back! We’re trying out different takes on one scene to get practice writing in different points of view.
This prompt is getting old, huh? That’s the thing about serious writing, though – you can expect to do multiple takes on the same prompt. If you ever get into ghostwriting, you’ll have to work with prompts and needed plot details you might not like – but you’ll have to give it your best. Ideally, an author should be able to generate a story from any prompt!
A student walks into the classroom late. The student walks down the aisle and sits in an empty seat. The professor stops the lecture for a moment to watch the student. The professor tries to continue the lecture, but he forgets what he was talking about and looks a bit frustrated and annoyed.
For our final take, let’s do 2nd-person!
Choose a character in the scenario and turn him or her into the reader. You’re going to be telling the reader what he or she is doing. (Maybe it’s not hard to see why 2nd-person POV is rarely used outside role-playing and Choose Your Own Adventure books.)
This is my first attempt at 2nd-person ever. This is just for fun – it’s very difficult to sell anything written in the 2nd-person, and professional authors usually avoid it.
I will put the reader in the role of the professor:
You turn your eyes to the door as Daniel walks into the classroom. You quickly turn back to your lecture notes. Now is not the time; let him think you didn’t notice. You scan the notes – there it is, the bit about Constantine’s rise to power. You narrate, building the story of Roman history to a crescendo, and lowering your voice again as the paragraphs reach a natural break.
Erika, the one with the atrocious dye job, passes notes to Daniel, and you see your opportunity. You pounce. “So nice of you to join us, Daniel.”
The dejection on his face almost brings a smile to yours. If you cannot have the satisfaction of a student excelling with the material, schadenfreude will have to do.
I really want to see what you can do with 2nd-person POV
So few people write in it, it would be awesome to see more takes. I will return to this exercise on Thursday and in the future to revise and improve the examples – this could be a really fun and weird writing exercise for my students.
See you on Thursday!