WRITING EXERCISE: The Power of Point of View Part 2

This is the second part in a four-part series. Each part can explored as a stand-alone exercise.

For most modern genre writing, first person and close third-person tend to be the most marketable choices. People like the “choose your own adventure” immediacy of these two POV styles. It drops them in the action.

It also increases sympathy for the character, putting the reader in the character’s shoes. The identification with the character increases toleration in the world. Exploring shoes outside what one normally wears can bring a new world to the door: patent leathers – sneakers – bare feet – crocs – hiking boots, combats, thigh-high high-heel boots, flip-flops. If one only is familiar with sneakers as a pair of shoes, how can one have sympathy with a person stuck in flip-flops but required to walk in the snow?

Remember that scene with the three different POVs you wrote last month? How the characters needed to be of different ages, social stratus, and genders? If you had to put each into a unique pair of shoes, what would they be wearing?

WRITING EXERCISE:  Write the scene from last month again, only in first-person from one of the characters’ POVs. Really concentrate in being in the “shoes” of this person. After you write it, post a comment below about why did you choose that particular character. Was it a plot decision, the character you most identify with, provides the best tie to the genre being aimed for? Describe their shoes in the comments. Word count should be between one hundred and three thousand.

My attempt

What shoes would they be wearing? Colonel Mustard – high-shined black leather dress shoes. Professor Plum – all weather short boots/high top leather shoes which tie up to just above the ankle. Deep purple in color (of course). Mrs. White – anti-slip nurse-type shoes, well worn and scuffed. Miss Scarlet – red low-heeled shoes,but strappy and with some sparkles or gemstones, and matching her dinner gown.

I chose Colonel Mustard as the first person character because Mrs. White isn’t emotionally invested in the action and doesn’t know the history of what is happening and Professor Plum isn’t as interesting, more a thinker than a doer. The Colonel has a ton of emotions, is action-oriented, and has a lot of self-conflict which will play out in the story. Mrs. White is an observer with little skin the game; Professor Plum could be the “cozy mystery” detective but would be better as a foil observed from the outside. The Colonel, he is going to break things and make mistakes.

Flash Title: In the Dining Room with the Knife