At last night's short story writing class, we discussed the different points of view that can be used in telling a story e.g in first-, second- and third-person, or whether the narrator is the main character, a minor character or an uninvolved onlooker.
I'm still not 100% clear on the difference between telling a story from a minor character's point of view and using first-person, and telling it from a minor character's view but using second-person. So I'll just use "I" if I can identify with the character well, and "he" or "she" if I can't.
The most fun exercise of the evening was to, in groups, attempt to retell the tale of Cinderella from the points of view of various minor characters e.g. the stepmum, Cinderella's dad, etc, and from the points of view of very minor characters e.g. one of the mice who was transformed by the fairy godmother into a footman. I can see why Gregory Maguire has made a career out of it (although I think his results could have been less boring).
And our homework this week is to come up with a first draft for a short story. I've got an idea for one right now, but I won't tell you what it is in case you steal my idea and turn it into a best-selling novel and don't even give me credit for it.