Thursday, March 21, 2013

Perspective and Relativity

Writers need to get inside the head of their characters, and they need to adapt the point of view to the character's age, gender, beliefs, location, etc., or the story will fall flat. Characters must be true to themselves and different from other people in the story.

I once overheard this conversation:

"I was rear ended in my Dad's SUV last week."

"What happened?"

"An older guy, in his late thirties, didn't stop for the stop sign at the corner . . ."

Funny, isn't it? Obviously the gal speaking was young, in her early twenties, I'd guess.

Fortunately perspective changes as we age. Once you leave your twenties, someone in their late thirties doesn't seem so old anymore.

Everything's relative to perspective. Often a writer needs to research a character to stay true to his/her traits. It pays to put time into fleshing out the folks that populate your book. A tip I recently learned was to go on youtube and watch videos taken where your book's set (if it's a location you're not familiar with). You'll see the setting and hear the way the locals talk and refer to things. Clever, isn't it?

See the photo above? I took that a few years ago at Evergreen Lake in Evergreen, Colorado. I love it. I can smell the piny scent in the crisp air and recall a pleasant morning spent with friends. But someone with a different perspective would react quite differently in the same setting. Apparently some people don't care for the cold or the mountains and would hate spending time in a frosty setting. But that's okay, it's just a difference of perspective.  :)


Anonymous said...

I've used photos for a long time, sometimes music, and, of course, interviews with locals. Thanks for the YouTube tip. Isn't writing fun?

Megan DiMaria said...

Yes, writing IS fun! Thanks for stopping by.