Hello, writers. We touched on viewpoint a little last week, and I want to talk a little more about it.
Viewpoint is character. A character doesn’t just have a point of view (often called “POV” in writerspeak). A character is a point of view. Viewpoint can be presented without mentioning the character at all.
Consider the following two examples:
Two feet of snow! School was closed. It was perfect packing snow, too, and once it froze, the sledding would be fantastic.
Two feet of snow. The car was a big white mound, waiting to be shoveled out, and as if that weren’t enough, the snowplow dumped another four feet at the end of the driveway. Once that froze, it would be impenetrable.
In both examples, the character doesn’t appear as a person. But in each passage it’s clear that we’re seeing through a particular character’s eyes.
In modern fiction, we usually see from one POV throughout. If there are two POVs, there needs to be a good reason. (My current work-in-progress has two POVs, like my previous historical novels, so that I can show two aspects of one historical event.) If there’s not a good reason, it’s probably best to stick with one POV because you get greater character depth with one POV than with two or more.
Tonight’s challenge is slightly different from last week’s challenge.
Describe an old, abandoned house, twice, from the POV of two different characters.
So, you’re writing two descriptions.
Do not say who the characters are. Do not mention them at all.
Do not repeat any of the same details in both descriptions. For example, if one description mentions the roof falling in, the second description should not mention the roof falling in.
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