Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fun Ideas and Tips #3: POV Reversal

Writers block? Have a scene or chapter that falls short compared to all the others? Not sure what to do with a particular chapter or scene but you need the events or discussion in it to happen in order to further the plot?

Try a point-of-view reversal. Keep your original draft. Open up a new file and rewrite the scene/chapter from a different character’s POV. I don’t care if you’ve been writing in first person or close third person. You may need to look at this part of your story through new eyes. Throw yourself into a different character and write out the same action and discussion.

Why? Isn’t it a waste of time? This person doesn’t have a featured POV in the entire story!

Try it anyway.

The process alone will help strip away the barriers that were bothering you before. Then you can go back to your original and add the oomph or emphasis you lacked. It’s fun jumping into different character’s heads. This is just another draft and the change isn’t chiseled in stone. The point of this exercise is to try a new perspective, walk in someone else’s shoes, and figure out what’s been blocking your creativity.

And effectively changing POVs may not be to the first character you think of. Sometimes even a bit player’s POV can be quite illuminating. If feeling really stumped, try more than one POV for the scene/chapter and see what that does. Imagine yourself the director of a movie trying out different shots or the editor of a film picking out which reactions and emotions to show for emphasis. Play with your story a bit and have fun with it. That lackluster scene/chapter may turn out to be your favorite by the time you finish with it.

Have you tried this before? Share your experiences in the comments and tell me what you learned from the exercise.

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