- the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point.See also linear perspective and aerial perspective.”a perspective drawing”
- a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.”most guidebook history is written from the editor’s perspective”synonyms:outlook · view · viewpoint · point of view · standpoint · position · stand · stance · angle · slant · attitude · frame of mind · frame of reference · approach · way of looking/thinking · vantage point · interpretation
- an apparent spatial distribution in perceived sound.
So, you might ask yourself (I know, I’m thinking of the Talking Heads too), why J.W., did you start your brilliant, thought evoking blog with this definition? Well, I will say to my few but tremendously gracious fans that come to this blog, that’s a fantastic question.
The definition I would like you all to focus on is, definition #2, a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. The particular part of this definition, “a point of view”, or “POV” is what we writers would love all readers to see when they read our books. There is the First Person point of view: chiefly using the “I” or “we”, a Third Person point of view (POV): chiefly using “he”, “she” or “it”, which can be limited single character knowledge- or omniscient- all-knowing. Second Person point of view: chiefly using “you” and “your”. (www.thebalancecareers.com)
I write in the third person as do most writers. I have tried to use First Person POV, but it gets real messy, real quick. Speaking about messy, when I set out to write my first book, I was expecting to only have a small cast of characters. Boy did that go sideways real quick. Writers Note: characters have friends that they love to drag into your/my books without your/ my permission or consent. That’s right, your/ my brain will come up with characters that will, hopefully fill in the gaps needed to finish a book. And, as a writer; I/ we have the freedom to choose to bring these extra characters into the book and kill them off when it’s needed, or not. That bring up another subject that I’ve been struggling with, how to kill off a character that has lived in my head and on my computer for years? (This is another blog post for another day.)
So, lets get a little perspective.
In most normal scenes, you have one or two people talking, doing an action, or just dallying about doing something that moves your story along. In these scenes, you have one or two perspectives, such as:
Sam sit heavily on his tan leather couch, looking at the clock for the twentieth time. His date with Jessica is in an hour and he is so nervous he can’t sit still.
The narrative in on one character’s p.o.v. so the reader can focus on Sam as he struggles to sit still and stop looking at the clock.
“I want ice cream.” Sam say as he and Jessica walk through the park hand in hand.
“So do I.” Jessica says, looking longingly into Sam’s corn blue eyes.
In this scene the writer has injected a new character, Jessica, in to story. By giving her dialogue and action, the reader is not interacting with her as she agrees with Sam.
So that’s perspective in a nutshell. It’s the reader’s and the character’s p.o.v. from which the author has chosen to guide your eyes to. When things get choppy is when you have multiple, as in more then two p.o.v.s, in a scene. George R.R. Martin’s epic series, Game of Thrones, he has does multiple p.o.v.s many times during battles.
So, coming to my point, I’m attempting to write a ending to my second book with a battle that evolves four or five different p.o.v.s. The “or five” is still a little up in the air. Is this challenging? Yes it is. Will this take me, lets say, at least ten revisions, me arguing with my computer, yelling at the cat, asking the cat for forgiveness, bribing the cat with food, and other sorts of things? Yes.
Why, J.W., oh why have you forsaken yourself to do such a thing?!
Short answer, because it’s hard. As a writer, as a person, I like challenging myself. Writing a book is hard. How many time did I stop, start, stop, start and then finally get past a point that I could no longer stop any more? Many, many times.
When I started to write my first book, I had to learn how to write. Well, I knew how to write. Hell, I have a B.A. in History. History majors write papers all the time. Writing scholastic papers in New Times Roman, 12 font, double spaced, Chicago style format, site your sources, and so on. I knew how to write like that by the end of collage that I could bust out a two page paper in my sleep. These term papers, mostly were not in a perspective that would consider as first, third or second. They were boring collage papers that I knew how to write.
Now enter the fantasy adventure world of books with dialog, movement, fights, weather, and so much more. Now, perspective really mattered. When I started to write, two characters turned into four turned into ten. I had to now look through the eyes to ten, nine characters and a dire wolf, characters and understand where they were at any given time. Holy balls Batman!
In my first book, I have a scene where I have a fight in a room, five of my characters and a dire wolf versus five bad guys. When I started the scene, I had to really think about whos prospective I wanted to lead into the scene with. My MC? A secondary character? The wolf? The bad guys? It took me a month of drawing out the room on paper, positioning the good characters and the bad characters, the room, the bed, the nightstand, everything, to finally figure out how to write this scene. Then choreographing the fight, who fought who, where are they in the room at the time of the fight and then who come out alive and who doesn’t. So, ten characters, ten perspectives.
You know, in the movies when the audience gets a first person pov, you see what the character sees, and he/she scans the room for targets or whatever? That’s the perspective that I, as a writer, try to achieve in my mind during a scene. If I do not have a clear pov of all the good characters in the scene, then I take my time and try to find that place where I can visualize the scene before I start to write. I needed the different perspectives to finalize the scene.
The scene that I’m taking my time to write in the second book, has about thirty good characters and a few hundred bad characters. I’m writing a large warfare scene. Granted, I’m focusing on about twenty characters total, but there is a lot going on in this scene. Add magic, hand to hand combat, dragons, cool moves that would be impossible to preform, the basic mayhem of battle, and you got a scene.
How am I doing this scene? Well, the same way you eat an elephant, one bite at a time. I’m braking the scene down from one major battle to four or five (I still haven’t decided on this) smaller battles. I will merge two of the battles by the middle of the scene then all four or five my the end. Brake it into smaller pieces so that by the end, you’re not pulling your hair out. How do I know when to change perspective? I use the same feeling, the same cliffhanger idea that I use at the end of a chapter to tell me when to switch from one battle perspective to the next.
Nope, but I will gain some perspective on how to become a better writer by the end.
Thank you for reading this,