Posted by: victanguera | September 7, 2011

That’s Not My Point (of View): Writing Prompt #353

Perspective changes everything. What I think isn’t what you think. The things I see aren’t the things you see. So a story changes depending on your narrator. And depending on how close you get to your narrator. Inside their head, we can be privy to all the hopes, dreams, fears, and aspirations of a character. Take a step back and go to a third person perspective, and the viewfinder opens up a little. In a tight third person perspective, we can see a few more actions/reactions of others, maybe less of the internal emotions or reactions of our main character. But we still aren’t able to see anything our narrator doesn’t see, hear or experience. Step out yet again to either multiple POV or omniscient, and we have the ability to show the reader as much–or as little–as we desire.

So for today’s prompt, play around with perspective. What different tools can you use to tell a story. Multiple POV? The Time Traveler’s Wife used two POV–a first person and third person–to tell the same story. Game of Thrones uses a bazillion POV. Archie Goodwin narrates all the Nero Wolfe stories, so we only know what Archie knows. And it doesn’t take long to realize how much more Nero knows. So what works best for your story? Have you tried changing the perspective? How does this affect what you want to convey? I gravitate to 1st person POV for some reason. I think it’s time to try some 3rd person.

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Responses

  1. My second novel is really & big sprawling. At one point, I tried to rein it in by going to the first person. It was a bad idea. It was meant to be big and sprawling, and that’s it.

    Interesting that you talk about Wolfe and Archie, since, as I may have mentioned, I have a detective character, and her relationshipwith her assistant is very much based on them. In some ways.


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