Change Your Point Of View

Today were looking at point of you again, but in a slightly different way

The prompt

Pick a point of view you don’t usually use and write a story in it

Tips

*Look back at the stories you’ve written this month or in the past. Do you have a favorite point of view? Do you always default to first person or third person? Write a story today in a different POV.

  • If you flip back and forth between different perspectives frequently, just decide which to use today based on what you’ve written so far this month. What have you done most of? Choose that.

  • Each point of view brings with it restrictions and possibilities. If you frequently right in the same point of view you may be limiting yourself

  • To demonstrate the power of POV, you may want to repeat the exercise we tried earlier in the month of taking a story that you’ve previously written and writing it from another point of view. This time however I want you to keep the same character as the protagonist. Simply change the “I said “to “he/she/it/they said”.

  • Try to focus on the opportunities that this new perspective offers. If you’re shifting from third person omniscient to a limited/first person perspective, **really dig into the facts really dig into the characters thoughts and emotions. In these more limited perspective there’s no excuse for “Telling Not Showing”. Everything can be written as if we’re riding along on their shoulder, experiencing everything with them.

  • If you’re moving from a limited perspective to a third person omniscient, celebrate the fight that you cannot see things from different peoples’ perspectives. The most effective, least confusing way to do this is to have seen breaks between each head hop in the short story. (You probably don’t want to do it more than a couple of times but it can be quite fun to have most of the story told one person’s perspective then have a line break and give another character’s perspective as the conclusion of the story revealing a lot about the truth of the situation that, perhaps, the first character didn’t know.)

  • If you hate moving away from your favorite point of view that’s fine. You don’t ever have to do it again. Sometimes creative failures are essential to teach you what to avoid in future.

Leave a comment telling us what you discovered in your writing today. Perhaps you are very versatile with point of view or perhaps this was ridiculously hard. What did you learn? And remember, if you’re enjoying these prompts,share them.

September 14 – Perspective: What Do Others See?

 

Selfies aren’t a new phenomenon. They’ve existed for centuries in one art form or another. Like all natures of art, selfies are all about perspective. But that also extends to other kinds of art. What if your main character is someone in a piece of art by Vermeer or Rembrandt or Warhol? What does he or she see from where he or she is in that painting? What does Rodin’s The Thinker see from his seated position? What do those people in Mathew Brady’s Civil War photos see beyond the camera?

 

The-Lady-Of-Shallot

 

The Prompt

Write a story from the perspective of someone in a piece of art.

Tips

• In May, I wrote a short story that discussed the people portrayed in specific pieces of art. I thought it might be fun in September to pretend a main character in a story is in a painting. Feel free to choose your favorite painting, but you can also use sculpture, photography, or even performance art.

• I used to host and perform at many open mikes. Although humor often helped me ease into my presentations and performances, I also tried to remember that everyone there probably shared my nerves and my anticipation and my expectations. Use a similar experience in your life to help you guide your main character’s story.

• Don’t hesitate to allow your main character to interact with not only other people and things in the piece of art (if there are other people and items) but also—and especially—people and things we can’t see. You don’t have to portray a complete view. Sometimes, focusing on one other person or element or thing we can’t see can go a long way.

• If you’re having a tough time finding something that strikes your fancy, use your favorite search engine to combine something you’re passionate about with an art form. For example, search for “pizza” and “sculpture.” See where that leads—even it’s to a pizzeria.

• Don’t forget that you can use any perspective for your story. Just because you want to write about someone in a painting doesn’t mean he or she needs to be your narrator. You might even consider second person for such a story.

Let’s do this—and have fun!

Post a comment to the blog to let us know what you wrote about (including linking to your story on your own site or elsewhere) and/or join the community and post in the Victory Dance group.

 

Christopher Stolle is a professional book editor and sometimes writer. You can find his stories for this month at https://storiesbystolle.wordpress.com, and you can find some of his recent poems at https://www.facebook.com/stolle.poems. He has published dozens of poems in several countries, and he has written two nonfiction books for Coaches Choice: 101 Leadership Lessons From Baseball’s Greatest Managers (2013) and 101 Leadership Lessons From Basketball’s Greatest Coaches (2015). He finds inspiration in cooking, taking long walks, and ASMR videos. He lives in Richmond, Indiana—the cradle of recorded jazz.