Sitting high in a tree looking down on the world below where machinery threatened his green canopy…
The prompt is: compassion.
Take the prompt, then twist it, seeing it with compassion, as someone other than yourself or normal perspective.
Scars remind us of where we’ve been. They don’t have to dictate where we are going.
David Rossi, “Criminal Minds” television show
NaNoWriMo isn’t about writing just one thing. It is also a time for experimentation, which can also spice up the chore of your 1,667 words a day. Try experimenting with point of view.
Write a scene told from the perspective of the main character, written in third person.
Write the scene as told from the perspective of an omnipotent narrator.
Write the scene as told from the perspective of one of the other characters.
Write the scene as told from the perspective of one of the animals nearby, a bird, cat, dog, snake.
Write the scene in first person.
Which works better? Should you change your story’s point of view? Or keep it? Either way, it mixes things up for a writing session, and helps you see your story from another perspective.
The following is by Writers in the Grove member, D.K. Lubarsky.
I cannot mourn in front of my children,
I cannot share the sorrows and tears of age and illness
Nor cry from the depth of my heart
Nor speak of the profound and lingering losses
I cannot tell them of the pain I feel at times
They do not want me to know
I cannot mourn with my children
They choose not to see the shriveled arms and shuffling gate
“You are fine,” they sing in their frantic dance of life
“You underestimate yourself,” they call over their shoulders
As they race through sunny fields, flying off to catch their young
Leaving me far behind in their wake
Confident full-fledged adults, with steam engine powered muscles
Their throttles smashed forward against infinity
They recognize on some transient level, I suppose
That I am something else
A specter of the mother they once had
Tho’ purposely not examined too closely
For then they might have to acknowledge their proximity of loss
In their world of distant horizons
So I cannot mourn my losses with my children
But I thank God for my friends
Equal in age and weariness
We sit around the table stacking our wounds like poker chips
Tethered with nods and sighs, handclasps and hugs
Learning from one another how to step forward
How to keep laughing
In spite of it all
To appreciate simple pleasures
And each other
We grieve and giggle on the same breath
Then breathe, grieve, and giggle once more.
And at day’s end
I come away stronger for their strength
So that I can return to the children I adore and listen as they say
“See, I told you that you were okay.”
Never comprehending how close to the edge
I was when first awakening to morning’s light
But perhaps I am better off
Being able to glean from their perspective
Knowing that for now, this very moment,
I truly am okay.
The prompt was based upon a fictional perspective between the thoughts of a dog and a cat, telling the same story from two points of view. Other suggestions were with a doctor and patient, husband and wife, police and prisoner, and mother and child.
The children’s book, I Am the Dog, I Am the Cat by Donald Hall is a good example of a story told by alternating points of view. A famous alternating point of view is Gary Larson’s famous Farside comic strip featuring what the human says and what the dog hears.
The prompt is to tell a story from two opposite points of view.
The prompt was to explore conflict from various perspectives.
Setup: Two children at playground
First Prompt: Write in third person, omnipotent
Second Prompt: Rewrite the story in first person
Third Prompt: Rewrite the story from the perspective of one of the mothers
Fourth Prompt: Rewrite in second person
The prompt for this week’s Monday Writers in the Grove Workshop was:
Bystanders are sometimes more than passive, they can be perpetrators, people who inject themselves into the story. Write a short piece on how a bystander moves from outside of the event to inside.
If you would like to participate in these prompts, please do so on your site or personal journal. If you would like to discuss them, please comment below.