Writing is all about perspective.
It’s you and the words and that’s it.
Unlike meeting someone in person or even speaking on the phone, where we engage most of our senses in the communication, it’s just the reader and your words.
That’s why the words you use and how you string them together make all the difference in your writing.
To make those strings of words as effective as possible, you must have a clear perspective.
Perspective is Different than Intention
Intention is important when you want to persuade.
Perspective is about your philosophy as a writer.
Do you know what your philosophy is?
If not ask yourself some of these questions;
- What’s really important to you to get across as a writer?
- What’s important to you as a creative person?
- What’s important to you as a member of the human race on this planet?
- What parts of your culture or society interests you in an intense way?
- What do you value in terms of a person’s character?
These are the types of questions to have the answers to when talking about your writer’s perspective.
Now, let’s break it down.
There are specific elements to your perspective we want to focus on and rein in to communicate the most effectively through your writing.
These elements are:
1. ENERGY = Desires/Emotions/Spirit
2. CONNECTIONS = Commonalities/Relationships
3. PHYSICALITY = Bodies/Environment
The very stuff of our existence. Life is energy.
Desires are all about the Life force. To want is to be human.
So, whenever you get stuck, ask yourself what do you want your reader to get from this story? This scene? This chapter?
Translate these questions into what your characters want. What are their desires in the overall scheme of their lives?
You can give your characters any type of desires you want. The stronger the better. This will offer the deepest possible well of creation to draw from.
Strong emotion is a sign of connection, attachment and desire.
In addition, understanding your own desires and emotions will help you tap into those of your characters. The energy of your characters’ desires is the catalyst for truthful action.
There must be a “why” behind the emotion.
As in life, the strength of desire inspires a person to take some type of action. The why behind the emotion will get your characters moving.
Frankly, it’s not much of a journey if your characters don’t go somewhere and do something of consequence.
This is especially true in our modern world.
In the new millennium storytelling is almost all about action.
Don’t underestimate how much energy the creative process uses.
Manage your own energy well. Remember to breath. Still your mind before writing.
The farther you reach into your imagination to find a fresh idea, the more energy its going to take. Be prepared for this.
#2 CONNECTIONS = Commonalities/Relationships
Connections, are the things we have in common. Whether a connection is as tenuous as a name that sounds familiar or so solid everyone in the neighborhood knows who you are, connections elevate any story.
For example; I’m lost. I enter a gas station to ask for directions. I ask the guy behind the counter where the town’s main library is. He says down the road and take a left.
Now, what would make this innocuous encounter more interesting are connections.
The gas station guy says, “Oh so, you must be a big reader?”
I say, “Well yeah, I like to read and I write too. I’m doing research for my book.” The gas station guy says, “Really? What kinda book are you writing?”
“It’s a novel about two sisters who inherit their mother’s haunted house.” “Spooky.”
“Yeah. And it seems this town has some haunted buildings. Supposedly there are few books in the town library about it,” I explained.
“Oh, well, you must be talking about Shellings Manor, the old mental institution at the north end of town. Yeah, that place’ll raise the hairs on the back of y’er neck. Got lost in there one night on a dare and damn near lost my mind,” the young, sandy-haired man looked down and shook his head suddenly looking a lot older.
So I asked, “Really? Would you be willing to talk about it? I’d love to hear your story. I could do my best Katie Couric.”
Do you see what’s happened here?
An ordinary encounter has revealed many connections. Physical connections, human connections, emotional connections and they’ve been revealed through dialogue, character thoughts and some action.
Just keep looking for the connections between the characters, their desires and their environment and you’ll keep the storyline moving.
#3 PHYSICALITY = Bodies/Environment
Having a clear description in your mind of your character is very important.
It will help you develop their personalities and their actions.
Once you have the details of your character’s appearance developed, delve into your imagination and think what it might be like to experience the world through their body.
If you need help, ask someone who is physically similar as your character.
Having a clear picture in your mind of the physicality of your characters and their surrounding geographical elements will help you write vivid, detailed characters and environments.
Doing research is a large part of any fiction or non-fiction writer’s work.
Keep these 3 things in mind when you write and will sharpen your writer’s POV and increase the effectiveness of your storytelling;
1. ENERGY = Desires/Emotions/Spirit —> Know the depths of your characters and yourself!
2. CONNECTIONS = Commonalities/Relationships — How do your characters know each other?
3. PHYSICALITY = Bodies/Environment – Be clear on what your characters and their surroundings look like
Now go out there and write like you want to change and influence some minds!
If you ‘d like to have your work developmentally edited or beta read I can help.
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Additionally…. Writer’s Digest has a good page on a writer’s perspective here…