Point of View

I’ve had a couple of things happen in the past day or so that makes me realize that what I see is not necessarily what others see too. Or, at least, not exactly the same.

I guess it goes back to the saying that if you ask ten people about an event you will get ten different stories. Some of the details will likely match, but outside of that, the renditions might be very different.

That got me thinking about my writing. I normally focus on seeing the story through the eyes of the major character, whether it is the protagonist or antagonist. That has always seemed more real. More in the heart of things. That gives me the opportunity to actually express the thoughts and feelings of the characters.

But what about the story coming from a different point of view? Maybe, instead of the guy who perceives things one way, get someone who has a totally different view tell the story. Or, maybe telling the story from the point of view of people who are way on the periphery who are only getting a small amount of the information (kind of like we are with the news most days).

In fact, as I’m writing this, I realize that there are entire genres about characters who only have a piece of the information who are trying to get more. Mysteries and Police Procedurals come to mind.

This new bit of insight has got me thinking about some short stories I want to tell. Should I twist the story so it’s coming from someone else’s viewpoint than I had originally considered? Will that make the story more interesting or more confusing?

In a way, it’s an interesting exercise considering how things appear to others. It allows me to make their actions and reactions (should they actually appear in the story) more realistic. It might even force the story into a new, unexpected place



  1. One of the things that the snowflake model encourages as a way of prepping it to write a synopsis of the story from each major character’s POV. Their story.

  2. That sounds interesting, but could be a trap, couldn’t it? You spend so much time developing the story from each POV that you never ever get the story written? I ask because I haven’t used the snowflake method.

  3. I too like to explore viewing things from different perspectives and using different voices. I think the most dramatic example of this I’ve run across was the book The Death of Patsy McCoy by Levi Montgomery in which an event is told, then retold through the eyes of each of the participants. It is very well done and shows just how differently people can see things based on their experiences and mind-sets.

  4. I would definitely have to have the right story to do something like that. 🙂

    That said, I’m going to try a few different things over the coming months to see if I can’t give some of my stories a bit more pizzazz. As per above, it will have to be the right story, is all.

    Thanks for weighing in, Allan.

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