Writing Exercise: POV and Figures of Speech

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POV and Figures of Speech

Figures of speech, the descriptive picture using words, can help define the main character of the story, not only through describing him but the word used in the narrative. How they view the world and their personal experiences will impact what and how they share information with the reader. Limiting the story to the POV character’s vocabulary can expand the book’s world-view, drawing the reader deeper into the story and the main character’s mindset.

For example, a solider may describe the boat he is on as “clashing with the waves”, while the terse farmer from steering would say “the ship plowed through the sea,” and the verbose seamstress describes¬†“the vessel cutting through the white crests, like scissors through crinoline, not well, but with determination.”

WRITING EXERCISE: Today’s challenge – take a single action – ship on the sea, fist punching the gut, a man limping across the room, a woman smiling welcome, etc – and then have three different people describe it from their point of view in a single sentence. You should end up with three sentences. Possible protagonists include a teacher, a wizard, a criminal, a space ship engineer, a (highly intelligent) toddler, or any of the people used in my three examples.

I am rather proud of my flash, With Moon Watching Other Places, The main character is a dryad and I describe many items in relation to the natural world. Breaking from the standard human viewpoint was refreshing and challenging.

Please post your comments below.

(first publication 3/12/2015; republished in new blog format 10/25/2016)