Sunday, June 02, 2013

Walk A Mile In My Shoes

As a writer, I've learned that if a scene isn't working, try changing the point of view (POV) in which it is written. That means to write the action from another character's perspective; see what a character sees, hear what he hears, smell what she smells, and do what the character would do; use the character's motivations and background to filter what is happening on the page. It's amazing how much situations can change.

I watched exactly one episode of the 1980's TV show, thirtysomething, but that episode has stayed with me. One incident was shown over and over, but each time from a different character's perspective. The various interpretations were very diverse. And eye-opening.

Law enforcement knows the same event may not be reported in the same way by eyewitnesses.

In 2011, I reached the startling conclusion that the only difference between a patriot and a terrorist is POV.

Seeing the Broadway hit, Wicked, reinforced my belief that POV is one of the most powerful tools in a writer's toolkit. L. Frank Baum's Wicked Witch of the West presented as a sympathetic character? Oh, yeah. Completely.

A recent, random social media comment has me re-examining something I believed true. For decades. Fortunately, I'm open-minded, and am willing to revisit the past to either learn something new or validate my memory. Because point of view is powerful.

No comments: