Write Short Stories With Unusual POV Characters | Lorenzo Massimo Leone | Skillshare

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Write Short Stories With Unusual POV Characters

teacher avatar Lorenzo Massimo Leone, Writer, actor, voice-actor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Referenced Stories

    • 3. Finding Your Inspiration

    • 4. Plot Based vs Emotions Based Stories

    • 5. Giving Life to Your POV Character

    • 6. Leaving Hints

    • 7. Plot Twisting Your Story Correctly

    • 8. Conclusion and Class Project

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About This Class

Have you ever wanted to create a story with a totally original and unusual feel? The best way is to create new and unusual characters! In this class, you’re going to learn how to give life to unusual and interesting POV characters in a short story. This class is perfect for people who are new to writing and want to learn a few tips and ideas on how to perfect their craft. Enjoy!

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Lorenzo Massimo Leone

Writer, actor, voice-actor


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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to this course on how to write a short story would an interesting and unusual POV character. In this class, I'm going to talk about how you find your inspiration for your character. How you write your character into the story. So how you give life to your POV character and how you write your story from an interesting POV. How do you actually write it? And then I'm going to talk about how you choose which kind of story you want to go for. Do you want to go for a plot based, sorry, or an emotion based story? I'm going to explain the difference about that later on at the end of the class, I'm gonna give you a class project where you'll be able to use what I have taught in this course and write your own short story with an interesting and unusual POV character. And then you can share it in the class projects section of the class and show everybody what you're capable of this class is for people we've never tried this before, but also for people who have tried this and maybe don't know, a few deaths are a few ideas. And hopefully I can provide some interesting thought process for you and help you with your short story. So I hope you enjoy the class and I'll see you in the next lesson. 2. Referenced Stories: Welcome to the actual course. The first thing that I want to tell you stuff throughout the course, I'm going to make reference to this, end to this. These are two short stories with interesting and unusual POV characters which I wrote and I'm gonna make reference to them to make examples throughout the course so I can make myself a bit more clear. So first of all, I would say take a moment and read both of them. You can find them in the classroom resources. They are very short. One of them is just one page long and you can let me know if you like them in the class discussion section of the course, but do read them because I'm making them, I'm going to make reference to them. So I hope you enjoy them and I'll see you in the next lesson. 3. Finding Your Inspiration: Welcome to the first lesson. This is about how to fund your inspiration for your own interesting and unusual POV character. Where did these ideas come from? Where do these characters come from? Where most people would say is, think outside the box and think creatively, which is true, you must do that, but it is a bit abroad of a description. So hopefully I can provide some ideas and some thought process that can help you with that. The first thing to remember is that whatever you choose, keep that in mind. You can make your story about anything or anyone. It can really be anything or anyone. As long as first thing to remember, it must be someone or something unusual. Because you don't want to hear about your everyday policeman or your everyday firefighter, or your everyday human character. It has to be about something that you don't hear very often because thus, what is an unusual and interesting POV character fits our character. What we hear from all the time in many different stories, we are used to what they say and therefore it's not really interesting. The point of this class is to come up with characters that are unusual, and therefore people that we don't hear a fair from very often, not necessarily people, just anyone. The second thing to remember is that whatever you choose, it must give you the opportunity to write about interesting, unusual in the original situations. So you can write about anything or anyone. You can write about a dog or a bird, cat, toy or computer program. Ok, God, I guitar, it can be anything as long as it's something or someone unusual and something, or someone that gives you the opportunity to write about interesting, unusual and original situations. So for example, in my story, what must be done? I chose a mosquito because it gave me the opportunity to write about normal situations in a very different point of view. So when the mosquito sees a house, it sees a house very differently. It sees people very differently and objects very differently. And therefore, what would it be very normal becomes this grounded incredible adventure because it's seen from the point of view of a mosquito because it gives you the opportunity to write about these situations. And it's always nice when you take something that's very normal, very everyday and you make it big, you make it cool with the choice of your character because it's from his lenses is from his point of view. Same thing with the kid writing about a kid gave me the opportunity to describe every day, any day over kid. But it's very different from how I would see the same day of the same kid. But because it's a kid, he sees it very differently. So that's what I mean. You have to choose characters that can give you the opportunity to write about this kind of situations. However, if you're stuck and you can think of anything, you can take this simple tip and tried to apply it, taking inspiration from yourself and life around you. So for example, the story of the kid, the kid, and that story is me when I was nine years old, about nine years old, I change the befor story, but I took inspiration from my personal memory and turned it into this little story. And same thing with the mosquito, mosquitoes, something that I see every day. So it was interesting to me to think, what would it be like if I told a story from the point of view of a mosquito, that's what you do. You don't need to think incredibly big are incredibly creative. Just take inspiration from life around you, look around you and think, what would the situation like to someone or something different from me, from another point of view. And thus what point-of-view characters are all about. So if you're stuck, just try and take inspiration from yourself and life around you. And as a first exercise for the course, I want you to do just stop. Think of an interesting and unusual POV character. You're own POV character, come up with it. Who are they? What interesting situations can you put them in? Write it down and if you want, you can share it in the glass products section. Sometimes it's useful for people to write down and make a little plan before they actually write the story. So yeah, do come up with your character c, what you can come up with, come up with more than one if you want to do more practice. And I'll see you in the next lesson. 4. Plot Based vs Emotions Based Stories: Okay, now we're gonna talk about the two types of stories that you can tell with interesting POV characters. Now let's be clear. This is not an official division and this is not something that you usually learn because this is just something that I personally found out while experiencing, you know, the write-ups of stories. And that's the division that I just make for myself and I thought I would bring it to you because it's important I think, to understand which kind of story you want to write with your POV character. The first type of story is applaud based story. What this basically means is that it's a story where your character, your POV character follows a classic story arc. So your character is trying to achieve something or follow a goal and therefore does stuff, anything. It fights monsters or a goes up the stairs or it calls their mm, I don't know, whatever. That's the story and the story with a plot. It's a plot based the story. It's just the character doing something to get to a goal. The second story is, the second type of story is an emotions based story. What this mean is that basically this is a type of story that is can be written as a short story specifically because we are talking about interesting POV characters. So basically, the unemotional based story is a story where the attention is not focused on the plot because there might not even be a proper plot. But it's about how to make the reader feel certain emotions and how to make the reader feel interested while readings are a thing, and it might just be our character describing things. It might just be a character describing feelings. But because it's an interesting POV character, it's going to be interesting the way it's written. And that's what keeps the reader going. The emotions that you felt they feel when they read it. To make an example, the two stories that I put in the class features and thus you hopefully read, our water must be done and the noises, These are two types of stories. So what must be done is a broad-based story because the mosquito and the story is trying to achieve something there. Mosquito wants food. Therefore, it goes in the house to try and get the food from the human. That's a basic block that's just applauded. Therefore, it's a plot based story. It's in the classic story arc, guards or does something to achieve something. On the other hand, the noises, it's an emotion space story because there isn't really a story. There is just the kid describing his day and there's, there isn't a story he's not trying to achieve a goal is not having conflicts. It's just our character describing something. But the reason it works, it's because it's an interesting POV character which allows you to write stuff in an interesting way. So in this case, describing the day of the kid, I was able to talk about things in this very weird, not clear way, which is what I wanted to read or to feel in my personal goal with the story was to make the reader feel confused till the end. By confused, I mean, I'm positive confusion like what's go warning me reading what's going on. I want to know more and that's what keeps the reader interests. So those are two types of stories that you can make with interesting POV characters. And I, it's important I think, to realize that you can do both. Because otherwise you might just think, you know, you can only tell stories. But because we're talking specifically about interesting POV is the fact that the way you're going to write the story is going to be interesting by itself. It allows you to not even our plot, but just of stuff as long as it evokes emotions in the reader. So something like the noises works even though it doesn't have a plot, but it's just about making the reader feel something. Most of the time you can use both approaches for any character. You know, you'll find that some characters make it easier for you mentally to think of a block based story. And sometimes other characters makes you, make you, you know, you can come up with a plot by, you can still write and make the reader feels something you should have come up with a character in the last lesson, which you can do now if you so wish, is to decide which approach you're going to go with, with the final story that you are going to write at the end of the class, at the end of the course. So you can choose that now, think about it. Do you want to do a plot based story or can you try and emotion space story. 5. Giving Life to Your POV Character: The next lesson is probably the most difficult one because it's the most important one, which is, how do you make your POV character come to life? How do you make a good story from an interesting characters point of view? And to do that, the first thing that you need to do is to get in the mood. And by that I mean, that you need to get yourself in the idea. You are to think like your character and this is something that you do all the time. Every time. Does she write a star, even when it's a normal story with normal human characters, you put yourself in the shoes of your character. Which why, which is why every writer is themselves an actor as well. Every writer is an actor as well. Because when you write about a character, you have to think like them and feel like them and talked like them and all of that is in your head and that allows you to put it on the paper and make them compelling, interesting story. So getting the mood that shoe are your character and everything will come easier. Once you do that, you have to think about their point of view. There's perspective, that's what it comes all about. And how do you do that? Well, if it's a plot based story, The first thing that you want to do is understand their goal. Which very often as you know, being an interesting point of view, Carter who will be very specific to that character. And once you have the goal in mind, you can then create a plot around there, which can be longer or shorter depending how you're sorry is gonna go. And once you have understood your goal, then the next thing, you know they apply to both kinds of stories, which is, how does your character feel things? I'll use your character C things. Your character see things in different colors. Does your character of hands, or today off time to goals or whatever, really wonder it as sentences of your character, we humans of highs, years, taste buds, your character might have something different. Your character might perceive things a different way. And that's all that kind of stuff shuts you need to think about. And when you do, you put data all on the paper. Saw how does your character go through things like something happens? What does your character theme out? Do they feel about it? That's why it's interesting because what is normal to us as humans, like something that might be a tragedy for us, might be incredibly fun, are incredibly tasty. Your character, it really depends on what you are going with. So once you know that, you can put that on the paper and then walk, she put on the paper will make your story naturally progress. So basically you just have to think from their point of view, which is why they are point-of-view character. To give some examples in my story, what must be done? My character is a mosquito, as you have read and everything that happens to her is given from the point of view of the mosquito. So when she goes in the house is not a house, but it's this cave with a lot of entrances, even though the monsters weirdly use only a few of them, that being the doors obviously, but the mosquito would see the windows as answering says. And then there's weird materials at the mosquito doesn't know about. To give some other example when the mosquito season Hoover. It's not a Hoover, but it's a war machine. It's a despicable war machine. And she, she shivers, she feels threatened and scared about the Hoover because it's from our point of view of the mosquito. So thus with the opportunities that I talked about, I am talking about thinking all you know, it would be cool or with the mosquito feel like a bar Hoover, what would they think of a Hoover? What would they think of shoes? The mosquito says that shoes are these weird, this black object that tied together and that the monster is used to protect our lower body shoes. But because it's a mosquito seeing it, it gives you the opportunity to discredit him and a whole entirely new way. And that's what makes it cool, that what makes it interesting and compelling. For the other example in the noises the kid is describing free labs. He did, the kid is done three laps around the his building in my story, the noises. But he feels like he has done this massive marathon in his, his heart is pumping and you'll soon be able to play for his hometown because it's a kid. So for elapses would be off for him. Very young kid. Or he mentioned solving this incredible maths problems by 0s only just on two-by-twos. Two plus two is four. The reason it's just so big to him, it's because it's a kid. So those are just examples, but you see it does for, I mean, you must think about how your character perceives the world and how they feel and see and react to the world. How do they feel about it and how do they describe what's going on? And I'll how do they do it? And once you are able to do that, you will be able to tell stories from my point of view, character, the ability of a writer to get into shoes or a character and think like them, is what makes them able to write compelling, interesting, and amazing stories. And you can be as creative as you want with us. 6. Leaving Hints: So the next two lessons are specifically for those short stories where you want to plot to the end and reveal your character's identity just at the very end. Which as you might have guessed, I'm big funnels. You might have guessed out from the two stars would plot twists document you read their first lesson now is how to live hints about your character's identity without actually revealing. The reason you want to do that is because it makes, you want to preserve the Carter's identity for the plot twist at the very end of the story, which gives the shock value for the story. But you want to put those hints there because you ideally want the reader to start guessing midway through the story. And Abbott almost figured out by the end. Now of course that is subjective. You can choose to make it more easy, easier to guess, or harder to guess for more shock value. I guess it's up to you. I personally do it this way. And then of course, you know, leaving hence, always make it makes the PLA2 is better because the reader can go back and trace the steps where you were making it clear. And of course, when you read them, it might not be clear that it's a hint. But once the plot twist this reveal, you're just like. And that's why the character was thinking this way or was seeing the thing where you do is you describe characters in a certain way. So for example, in what must be done, the mosquitoes revealed to be a mosquito only at the very end. But throughout the story, ISA there she was flying because you know, the mosquito flies. So obviously done alone isn't going to make the reader guess anything. But at the very end, when it's real, it's a mosquito. It's a nice starch. The sure, describing a character this certain way. Or you can use objectives. You can talk about the characters for their tend to call it might be an octopus, I don't know. But you know, you make this kind of objectives and verbs in describing the characters in a certain way. And also you put them in situations where a day off to describe things and feel things a certain way, which can be a guess, a hint for later. So for example, when the mosquito keys the Hoover and it sees this war machine, it's this craving are Hoover. And when it's finally revealed that its a mosquito, you can kind of guess it, but in the very moment you might not be able to guess it. But nonetheless, that's a hint towards the character's identity and it makes the story better because when it's revealed that it, when the shock value is deployed and the character is revealed to be a mosquito, the reader can mentally trace back the stamps and go. So that was, that was our hoover. They may not realize immediately, but they may want to read the story again and think, oh, that's a mosquito seeing are Hoover and that's what it's happening. So that's where you'll have what you want to leave hints, and that's how you do it. And usually the hands get clearer and clearer towards the end. So for example, in my story, when the mosquito, the story is almost over and the mosquito is trying to suck the blood of the guy. She mentioned sticking a Jeuland starting to drill for the liquid. And that's a very clear hands to the characters identity. And that's the point that the reader might be almost guessing who the character is and then it's reveals moment thereafter, any character can mobile backend mentally say, Oh, that's what it was happening. But hopefully the, the reader might be guessing it at that moment. Sometimes it's like that, sometimes it's not. It also depends on the reader. Another example is that with the noises, it's clearer and clearer that it's a keto Stein goes every example I make from the mass to the software, to the running. It's more clear towards the character's identity to the point where it's the Lego's. When I say, Man, I love my legos, it's very clear that it's a kid speaking because it's a kid playing with Lego. And then it's revealed a, you know, it's actually a kid. So it's also nice when the reader understands at the very end and then they go, Yeah, I was right, it was a kid or Yeah, I was right. It wasn't mosquito makes that nice moment or otherwise, if they haven't realized that their myco, I was a kid, you see, and it makes the reading interesting and makes the story interesting. Obviously, that's just for stories where you have to plot twist. But this is the reason why you want to live, hence. And you do that by describing characters a certain way and by putting characters in situations where they describe things a certain way. And that is a way to live hence, for who your characters are. 7. Plot Twisting Your Story Correctly: The final lesson is how to reveal your character at the end of the story if you've chosen to keep it a secret, and that way you can plot twist properly your whole story. The first part of this has been discussed in the last lesson is how to live hence behind. And now it's literally just how to plot twist then what kind of plot twist the urine obtain. So the thing about block twisting is that it changes meaning to the story. You want to keep the plot twist at the end because you want to keep the highest shock value. You want the reader to have that moment of realization where they just understand the story gets a whole different meaning to them. And if you have place your, hence correctly, this becomes very natural because the reader can go back mentally and trace your steps and see all the things that looked maybe weird or out of place or did not adopt. Now becomes clear. Parts of the story is thanks to the final plot twists and your reader can go r. So that's what was happening because while you do want to keep a high shock value for your plot twist, you also wanted to feel I can natural extension of your story because otherwise you'll just deal out of nowhere and pretty preachy us. Georgia or margin once said, he writes fantasy novels in medieval style worlds. He said, I could have at any point in my book sacred about aliens come in. But what about shock value for sure, but it wouldn't have felt like a natural extension of the story. And therefore he would have been a pretty BAD plot twist. You want your plot twist to feel natural, which is why you leave hints. And when you plot twist at the very end, it will feel natural to feel great. The plot twist must be swift and wrap it. What that means is that it must come as very quick. One phrase is usually enough, or one word even sometimes, or just a quick series of phrases in a paragraph might make the plot was perfectly acceptable, usually at the end of the story. And then your whole thing gets a new meaning. Just quickly reveal what your character is through a few phrases. For example, in what must be done. The final phrases, mom, we need to do something about the mosquitoes. I just killed another one. And from that, you understand that the whole point-of-view character was a mosquito because obviously the main character has just been killed. And then this little exchange between the boy and his mom makes it clear that the mosquito was the character in the story, the noises instead the final phrases, kindergarten, start certainly tomorrow, which obviously makes the ball understand the United secured because he's going to kindergarten in the morning. So that's the kind of blocked with the yuan achieve just something quick and rapid that makes your whole story new meaning. It gives it a whole different meaning and then people can go back and see it thus why the child was describing things this way. And oh, that's why the mosquito was describing things this way. And thus the kind of effectors you went after, that's how you plot, twist the story effectively, just be quick and effective and take notice of all the stuff that I said at the start of the lesson in us to feel natural and has to feel compelling. And dually if hence, because they make the plot twist natural. And that's how you plot twist the story. 8. Conclusion and Class Project: This is the end of the course. Thank you for watching. I hope you enjoyed it. I have tried my best to explain the things that I've learned in my personal experience and I really hope they will be useful to you now as a class project, I want you to take everything that you have heard me saying and everything that I've thought you. And I want you to add your own creativity and I want you to write your own short star. You had an interesting and unusual POV character. You can share it in the class projects session of the course. And I'll read all of them obviously, and I'll give you some feedback on it. For those of you who are a bit more worried about it, I might be a bin bar lectures about sharing their work. Don't worry, just pollsters. Thus, what it comes down to just post that. And when you post some of your work that's already half a bottle one. So just do it. I'll wait for them there. If you have any questions about the course whatsoever or anything else that I might not have made a lesson about where you want to ask me. You can let me know in the cluster Discussion section of the course and I'll obviously answer everything. Everyone does pose something there. And once again, thank you for watching. I hope you enjoyed.