Afternoon Craft Conversation with Lori Ostlund

Date & Time:
Wednesday, March 20, 2019 -
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
De La Salle Hall: Hagerty Lounge, 1928 Saint Mary's Road, Moraga, CA 94575
View a map and get directions.

Navigating Point of View: Moving in Closer on 3rd-Person Close 

I tend to design craft talks around the questions that most come up in workshops, and the topic of 3rd-close POV certainly begets questions, perhaps because POV is one of the first decisions we make about a new piece yet one of the most complicated. Writers often (mistakenly) assume that widening the distance between the narrator and the character means rendering the narrator invisible, even bland. In this craft lecture, we will define 3rd-close on a spectrum, discussing when to move closer and when to maintain more distance, strategies for signaling distance, and methods for achieving more nuanced interiority. The talk will be interactive.

Lori Ostlund’s first book, a story collection entitled The Bigness of the World, won the Flannery O’Connor Award, the California Book Award for First Fiction, and the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award. Stories from it appeared in the Best American Short Stories and the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories and in literary journals such as ZYZZYVA and New England Review. Her second book, After the Parade (Scribner, 2015), was a B&N Discover pick and a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. She is at work on her next two novels and a second story collection. She lives in San Francisco with her wife and two cats, though she grew up in a hardware store in Minnesota, cat-less.