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Perspective In Writing

Writers have many decisions to make about perspective. Shall I tell the story from first person point of view? Shall I use a narrator? Which set of eyes should I use to tell my story? Which viewpoint will tell it best? Or will more than one viewpoint shine a better light on my character?

And there's a completely different question about perspective that must be answered: do I tell the story as if it's happening now? Or as if the character is looking back on the events with the perspective of hindsight?

As a writer, I have to answer all these questions, and I have to do it in a way that's fresh. I have to ask myself, like Orson Scott Card says, "How ELSE could it happen?" I must learn to not pick the quick, obvious answer, but look deeper.

I must learn to really look. See more clearly. With less tired eyes.

Look at the picture again. Change your viewpoint, your perspective. Imagine yourself high above the couple, looking down. Now they are lying on the concrete at the bottom of a flight of stairs.

How ELSE could it happen?

A change in perspective is often a good thing, whether in writing or life.

Margot is a mom of seven and pretty much crazy from it. Online she's known as the Damsel in Dis Dress and blogs at the Old School ( and twitters at @the_damsel. A blog about her writing adventures is found at Inklings.


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