June 24, 2014 Prompt #53
It’s revisions week here at The Writeous Sisters, so pull out a rough draft. It’s time for a tune-up!
For this prompt, we shift point-of-view. While you might not incorporate anything you write for this prompt directly into your work, examining point-of-view can give you valuable insights.
- Choose a work you’ve written from a particular point-of-view. If possible, find a piece with two or more characters.
- Rewrite it (or a section of it) from the perspective of another major character in the scene.
- Does the work seems richer or more complex with the changes? Any new insights about either character?
- Did the rewrite shift attention away from the focus, mood, or purpose you were aiming for or did it strengthen it?
- Try rewriting from the point-of-view of a minor character in the scene. If there is no minor character, make one up. Could a child be overhearing an argument? Could a waitress be watching a brother and sister discuss their father?
- Try rewriting from point-of-view of an animal or an inanimate object. Often, such exercises quickly become contrived or precious but the point here is to deepen the overall piece. If you write a scene in a college cafeteria, for instance, try writing two paragraphs from the perspective of a metal fork and all the food and mouths it encounters. While you probably can’t base an entire novel on this device (though perhaps a poem or flash fiction) it could be reworked into the thoughts of a character. Could the confident, wealthy, country-club student suddenly have a revelation about society as he ponders the life of fork?