Join the Madness

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Getting a Little Perspective

I've been thinking about perspective a lot lately -- if I weren't so lazy, I would do a week long series on it. I found this in my drafts from 2010.  It's from a class I took a couple years ago.

The scene:
It's early morning--just starting to get light.  A car parks up the street and a figure in black exits the car, very carefully closing the door so as not to make any noise.

The man sneaks down the sidewalk, carrying a package of some sort in his hands.  The figure seems very nervous, he keeps looking around, to see if anyone is watching.  As he nears a particular house, he crouches lower, and makes a bee line to the mailbox.  He slips the package into the mailbox and then dashes back up the street to his car and speeds off.

Despite his attempts to not be seen, there are two witnesses.  One is the man who lived across the street who had been sitting on his front porch enjoying his morning coffee.  A retired detective, he found the behavior to be highly suspicious.  

The other witness is the woman who lived in the house.  It was her birthday and she was delighted to see her boyfriend leaving a surprise in the mailbox.

I imagine if there were more witnesses, we could have even more perspectives to play with. 

To be perfectly honest, I struggle with this in practice.  I'm too nice to ruin my character's lives...and even when I do let things do go wrong, they make the best of it.  I need to face the fact that not everybody sees the world like I do...and I should quit meddling and let them speak for themselves.


April Plummer said...

I'm the same exact way. My characters always have to come out on top. I LOVE reading books where everything is thrown at the MCs, and the MCs are falling apart...but I can't do it myself. Or, I haven't. Then again, my books are more emotional, and they do get a bit of an emotional beating.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I can disrupt my characters' lives but rarely do it through perspectives. Interesting idea. Might try a few exercises and see how I can work it into my next book. Thanks, Vicki!

Nicole MacDonald said...

Well I love it ;p such good fun - and you're the one often reminding me that I need more conflict *grin* don't you hold back now!