Summer Prompts — Points of View
This post will help you respond to the following Spellbinder Instagram post:
“Choose a scene or a chapter from your favourite summer read and rewrite it from a different point of view. You could also maintain the main character as is, but switch points of view (eg from the first to the third person). Think about what changes, and what information is left out. Does the reader’s experience of the story change in any way when switching point of view?”
This prompt is an excellent exercise in getting you to push yourself out of your comfort zone when it comes to perspective. I know that in my own writing I am often guilty of sticking with one point of view for too long which doesn’t stretch me as a writer.
By choosing a scene or a chapter from a favourite summer book, this prompt offers you a framework in which to challenge yourself. You must consider what the characters who may not be in the forefront of the action are thinking, and how they may be viewing events.
Or, by switching between the first and third person (or vice versa), you might have to tell us what is going on inside a character’s head or show us through their actions. Writing in the first person allows you as a writer to tell the reader much more. Writing in the third person allows you to show much more. Both offer different challenges as well as different pros and cons. Use this writing exercise to explore what these might be.
If you are struggling with where to start, choose a very short scene from your chosen book. Decide whether you are going to rewrite it from a different point of view, or switch which point of view the main character’s perspective is written in.
Note down what the writer tells us about the character/what they are thinking. Then consider what is missing from this scene — is there a point of view that could add a really unusual dimension to proceedings? Do you want to know what a character is thinking? Do you want to hide what they are thinking? This will help you to reshape your chosen scene.
This is a really exciting and unusual prompt that will help to strengthen you as a writer by making you more adaptable. I hope that this blog post has been of some use and look forward to hearing how you get on!
By Ned Vessey, Blog Co-Ordinator
Read this blog post on the Spellbinder website here.