Perspective

August 22, 2012: “I can’t wait to get to college! I love home and I’ll miss my friends, but there’s so much opportunity waiting for me at college!”

November 16, 2012: “I can’t wait to go home! I love college, and it will be strange not living within feet of all my new friends and floor-mates, but there are so many things I’m looking forward to at home for thanksgiving!”

It all depends on the circumstances.  On any given day, any given person might desire to be in a different location, based on any number of factors. 

Perspective and point of view in writing are not so different. Which point of view a writer uses can depend on a number of factors in the prose. It is seemingly a simple matter of how deep inside the main character’s mind you want to be.  If you want the reader to feel what the character feels it should be written in first person point of view. Yet indisputably, even though the Harry Potter novels are written in third person, the reader knows everything Harry is thinking and feels all of the emotions of the characters quite keenly. 

With the intent of letting the reader get as close to my characters as possible, I used first person point of view for a long time.  In fact, I started my current project in the first person point of view.  It’s a matter of comfort, like living at home is a matter of comfort for me.  However, I accidentally switched to third person point of view mid-chapter this week.  At first, I used the backspace key a lot to try to correct myself every time I made the same mistake.  However, when it kept happening, I decided that perhaps it’s like living at college; different and less comfortable at times, but also new and exciting and carrying a host of other benefits.

Now I’ve removed myself from the inside of my character’s head, and I watch her from the outside and write what I see in my mind’s eye. I can withhold as much or as little information as I want, creating suspense and drama.  I’ve even utilized this new perspective to write a prologue about an entirely different character.

I had to go into the move to college with an open mind and learn to adjust to a new perspective and I employed the same mind-set this week to alter my writing to best suit the story.

 

*note: this was supposed to be posted four days ago

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