Tutor profile: Kevin H.
I want to write a story set in a fantasy setting. Which perspective should I organize the book around?
There's no wrong answer here, but most fantasy writers tend to lean towards third-person perspective when staging their stories in unfamiliar worlds. This is all due to the amount of information that needs to be explained to your audience about the world you are creating. Just like in formal writing, you have to acknowledge the place of your audience. How much will they know before you start writing and how much you want your audience to know are key questions to consider when writing your piece.
How would I interpret Kafka's Metamorphosis through a feminist lens?
I would start by figuring out what claim or argument you want to make about the piece through your chosen lens. While you read the text, what elements of gender conformity (or non-conformity) were present? How are women treated by other characters in the text? These elements are what will define your interpretation and thus will lead to your evidence as you make your argument or claim.
If I'm writing about the text, describing aspects that the author uses to flesh out the piece of literature, which tense do I use when referring to them?
This question is tricky because we like to believe that the action of writing a finished piece is an action done in the past, which encourages us to use the past tense when writing about the author's work, but consider the following: if the author is using a literary element or a device in their writing, does time impact this? If I read The Lord of the Rings today, and notice that Tolkien is using the ring as a symbol, does that truth change when I read the book twenty years from now? Tolkien will still be using the ring as a symbol, regardless of the passage of time, so when we refer to the strategies authors use in their writing, we use the present tense.
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