On Minute Writing Tip: #7

An Exercise in Perspective (Character Filters).

For the moment, try something with me. Normally I would tell a story or the story I want to tell from a somewhat fixed perspective (POV). Even though I may not be consciously aware of it my biases are in play. You know, those assumptions we all make about life whether they’re objectively true or not. This is about freeing ourselves from that and writing more consistently “in character.”

So here’s the one minute (or so) exercise I dare you to try in expanding your story scope. First, jot down how you perceive a situation and from whose POV. This can be reality or fiction. Walk or speed through a scene as it plays out from this character’s POV. Hint: The first is probably you.

Then take a step back and try to view the same set of circumstances from another’s POV. Play it out as far as it feels comfortable. Do you notice how that person’s life experience and personal biases differ from the first? How are they different? Mood? Intelligence? Intuition?

Now switch POVs for a third time. Hopefully this time you’re using your imagination to go outside your direct memory or experience. Really allow your creative mind to step into the scene. What observations or plot changes naturally occur in the same set of circumstances? Take notes and document all three perspectives.

This is such an enlightening exercise regarding the influence of a character’s filter. Understanding character filters is especially important in writing for series television or movie franchises. When we slip inside the skin of another person we learn all kinds of things.

Character filters are pretty specific in fictional storytelling. If you binge watch a series, you’re probably already aware of the lead characters’s filter. It’s predictable (to a degree) and that, beyond plot contrivances, are what drive us to tune in again or go see the sequel. This study may even help you understand your best friend or partner better!

So that’s it for today’s tip. Character filters. I hope you’ll give it a try, go deeper and share your experiences in the comments below. Until next time.

One comment

  1. AU · June 20

    You mean like in our conversation today about the importance of seeing our cousins and why you think it’s more important to you? And why would it be tiring if you’re doing the driving? Why do I need to stay home if the house is listed?

    I can answer those things from my POV 😊 I am so tired I have to lay down every day even though like a baby I don’t want to! Like Ted, I do well sitting in the car for hours then socializing, then sleeping at the farm then a long ride back then driving another hour to Fred. As much as I’d love to see everyone I just don’t think it’s a good idea at this stressful time with the transition at hand.

    With showing the house, I will need to pack up my dogs each time and leave,no one wants barking, jumping dogs bothering them contemplating a new home, so it’s going to be a hassle. I dread it but it’s what had to be done.

    I’m not asking for sympathy, it was part of a calculated decision we made to get ahead financially. Hopefully it will be worth it in the end.

    It’s like investing to open a business- you hope to make a profit but there’s no guarantee!

    So that’s where potential stress comes in. I need to keep as strong , positive anf faithful as I can.


    Sent from my iPhone



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