The Sound of Her Voice: Narrative Character (Weekend) – Annie Dawid
We love to listen to a brilliant narrator tell his or her story. The protagonist’s character in a novel or short story determines the voice of the story, whichever point-of-view (1st, 2nd, 3rd) one chooses. This workshop focuses on the oral and aural elements of narration. Always, we assume without question the importance of the mouth and ear in first-person tales – as in the classics Huckleberry Finn and Jane Eyre. But other points of view yield intriguing opportunities for the development of character through narrative voice. We will focus on syntax, rhythm, tone and diction as they flesh out the protagonist’s character through the narrator’s written and spoken voice. Using audio, we will explore some expert character-narration in John Cheever’s “The Swimmer”; Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl”; Cynthia Ozick’s “Rosa”; Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral”; and James Joyce’s “Araby,” among others. With long and short exercises, we will try to match the character of our protagonist with an apt narrative voice, choosing different points-of-view until we find the right one. All levels. Actors welcome!
Annie Dawid won the 2012 Flash Fiction Award from A Room of One’s Own (AROHO) foundation. She is a former professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Lewis & Clark College (1990-2006) now living in Southern Colorado’s Wet Mountain Valley. Her last book, And Darkness Was Under His Feet: Stories of a Family (2009), won the Litchfield Review Award for Short Fiction. Previous works include Lily in the Desert: Stories (Carnegie-Mellon University Press, 2001) and York Ferry: A Novel (Cane Hill Press, 1993). Her story of September 11th, “The Closer You Were, the Less You Knew,” won second prize in Glimmer Train Magazine’s Fiction Open in 2006. In 2007, she opened BloomsburyWest, a retreat for writers and artists in Silver Cliff, Colorado (www.bloomsburywest.com)