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Shift Your Perspective

When we send a post into the blogosphere, we want to make sure our best feet are forward. That means…

  • Ready to write? We’ll give you a new challenge each Monday. Publish a new post on your blog that interprets the challenge. Include a pingback and we’ll list your post below. Learn More

When we send a post into the blogosphere, we want to make sure our best feet are forward. That means making sure errors like typos or poor grammar don’t detract from what we have to say; it’s one of the reasons The Daily Post highlights common grammar struggles.  Grammar challenges follow up on grammar posts, calling on you to put your new-found understanding to the test.

To participate, tag your posts with DPchallenge or leave a link to your post in the comments. (It would also be great if you could link to this post to encourage people to take part – the more the merrier!) Please be sure your post has been specifically written in response to this challenge; obvious attempts to link-bait will be deleted. We’ll keep an eye on the tag and highlight some of our favorites on Freshly Pressed each Friday.
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Grammar guru Daryl’s post on narrative modes last week told you more than you probably thought you needed to know, going beyond first, second, and third person narration to variants like third-person omniscient, epistolary, and my personal favorite, unreliable. This week, we’re challenging you to explore how different narrative modes affect your writing. I may not get my ultimate wish of declaring 2013 “The Year of the Epistle,” but it should make for some fun storytelling.

To keep this from being a complete free-for-all, we’d like everyone to blog about, well, blogging: about the experience of conceiving, writing, and releasing a post into the wild for the world to consume. Depending on how comfortable you are pushing yourself, you can choose to go the beginner, intermediate, or advanced route. A cheat-sheet on the various modes is included at the bottom of this post.

Beginner

Figure out what narrative mode you usually use — for a lot of bloggers, that’ll be first person, but not necessarily. Then, pick a different mode and write your post from that one.

If you usually post first person personal musings, try narrating your experience in the third person. If you write reviews or instructive posts, try an evocative first person description of your process. If you’re feeling especially frisky when you sit down to post, give the fickle second person a try and see what results, or go unreliable.

Intermediate

To go a bit further, try an epistolary story, one written in the form of exchanged letters. Maybe the letters are between different parts of yourself — the brash self who loves to post, and the retiring self who worries how readers will react — or maybe they’re between you and you mother, who doesn’t understand why you spend so much time in front of the computer. Take advantage of the opportunity to introduce another perspective, and use that to explore the role blogging plays in your life.

Advanced

If you think you’re already a Mode Master, we encourage you to push yourself by mixing it up: use multiple narrative modes in the same post. Maybe most of your post is in the first person, but an omniscient third person narrator pops in occasionally to tell some hard truths. Perhaps your smooth third person narration is interrupted by tempestuous first person outbursts. This is your chance to really push the boundaries.

After this challenge, you’ll probably return to the style that works best for you and your blog, but we hope you’ll have another jar in the spice cabinet to reach for when you want some extra kick.

POV Pronouns
First person I, we
Epistolary (first person variant) I, we
Second person you
Third person he, she, it, they
Unreliable narrator he, she, it, they, I, we, you

142 Comments

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  1. I just finished NaBloPoMo as well as posting everyday for a health site using their prompts. I realized that signing up to write on health issues for a month was a rash, impulsive action that would either show me that I was simply a lack luster mum blogger who wrote boring drivel or it would push me to grow as a writer who could actually write articles.

    Well, I surprised myself. The odd prompts and questions posted by WEGO Health acted like golden keys, opening doors that I would never have opened on my own. Truthfully I did not even know that most of these doors existed at all. I discovered whole mine shafts of facts, opinions and antidotes within me that I connected effortlessly to examples in my life, especially my life as a mum.
    I think I need a challenge to move out of my comfort zone. This sounds like fun. I guess I have to write the post before I can link it. As a computer illiterate, I have no idea how to tag my post with dp- does that mean simply to put DP in one of my tags?

  2. yummygradedgoodness.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/you-enter-a-new-adventure/

    You see the link from this comment and wonder whether to click it or not.
    Adventure awaits!

  3. I’d love to take part in this, and I probably will but there will be no links included in mine. I have been on this site for a month now and can not figure out how to include links. They will be in my draft but disappear once I publish. I’ve looked at help topics and forums and even followed the tutorial, to no avail. so I’ll complete the challenge but I won’t be linking it to any of the bloggers I have befriended thus far. That talent escapes me. :(

    1. How I do it, and hope it is working? I go to the address URL at the top of my screen of which mine has a circle globe looking icon in what looks like a search bar. I put my cursor in there and hit copy . Then I hit paste in the comment area I am using. To copy and paste, you hit the mouse button on the left side. One time to copy. It should say that in the menu. Scroll down over the word: “copy”. Then do the same in the comment section to find paste. The address you copied from the toolbar should be in the comment section. Then you go over the address you pasted with the right button sliding over it using the mouse until what you want to be your link is highlighted-mine does blue. Then hit right button on mouse click to copy and then do the same with paste. I learned this by chance after several years. Most things i have picked up accidentally on the internet that way. I hope this helps. There is probably a shorter easier way, but that has not just happened for me. I am also a learn by doing and seeing person so hopefully you are not l9ike me and cannot get written directions like this. Maybe someone else on here would be kind and have a place that would show step by step how to do-if this is too vague or hard to follow. I like to help if I can someone in need and could not but be a Samaritan here. I hope it does not make things worse. I would like to see your post. I have been there and could have used help and still could with some things.

      1. Like I said , I hope this is actually working, it doe on other sites, but I have not checked it on here or noticed. Get a lot of readers though so I thought it was working.

  4. I almost always write in the first person, but just last week, I wrote a post with an unreliable, all-over-the place, mix of first and second person. It would have been perfect for this! “Eesh, and Flinging” http://wp.me/p2afNw-mj
    I’ll have to try it again with a different post.

  5. I wrote a three acts play where I use a narritive with a disclaimer, a host of characters, a narrator, intermissions,a main character with dialog and more. Would this be conssidered advance or do you decide after reading it,

46 Responses Ready to write? To participate, publish a post on your blog that responds to the prompt. Include a pingback and we’ll list your post below. Learn More