Writing Exercise: Switching Points of View
Today I’m sharing one of the most useful writing exercises I’ve come across. Trent Jamieson put us through our paces using a version of this exercise in a short story writing workshop last year.
This exercise is excellent for figuring out where to go next when you’re caught in a narrative bind, by looking at a scene from a number of different perspectives. Widening your experience of a tricky scene often unlocks the key for progression, consolidation or a new direction. It is also an excellent exercise in creating unique character voices.
- Write a one paragraph scene based on this week’s [Fiction] Friday prompt: Why did the Toothfairy fail to deliver coins one evening?
- Ensure the scene involves at least two characters (you may choose to have more than two if you wish).
- Write from first person or limited third person POV (point of view) so you are actually writing someone’s perspective.
- Take no more than ten minutes to write.
- Take the original scene and write from the perspective of someone else present.
- Again limit yourself to no more than a paragraph and ten minutes of writing time.
- Write the scene for a third time but this time, write from the perspective of someone outside of the ‘action’ in the scene, someone who has not been seen or mentioned in either of the previous paragraphs.
- Same time and length limitations apply.
Post your paragraphs to your blog and link in the comments section along with any reflections on your experience with this exercise.
Image: Hecate, the triple Goddess of Greek mythology.