This is the first of a series of posts on what I learned in my MFA week at Lesley. These posts are mostly to help me synthesize what I learned, but I hope they prove helpful to other writers out there, too!
A new faculty member, Marcie Hershman, taught a great seminar on first-person narration. The main things I learned are:
* With first person-stories, there are two stories going on: there's the story of the person telling the story (Why is he/she choosing to tell this story? Why is it meaningful to him/her?) and the story of the people/events being described. The story of the narrator must be underneath the plot story. Otherwise, the story should be told in third person.
* In that way, there should be many layers to a first-person story
* The writer should remember that the "I" narrator is selective over what information he/she gives the reader, and he/she has control over that information.
*The "I" narrator immediately conjures a personality and character.