Perspective is part of our lives. It’s how we look at things, physically, mentally and emotionally. Perspective combines available facts with personal ideas to shape our mental state.
Writers think of prospective as POV or point of view. It is how a character looks at and deals with life and living based on how he combines the facts he sees, blended with attitudes based on experience and emotional reactions that form his personality. Our past experiences affects who we are today and how we see things.
One aspect of perspective is viewing the facts correctly. We see things differently depending on where we are and what we have to compare it too. Here’s an example and we can apply this to life and our perspective. Take a good look at both photos.
The photo above is the same as this one below except for the one thing. In the first photo we see a rock and a wide stretch of grass which happens to be a golf course fairway. Distance and depth is difficult to measure, but this photo taken from the same location, adds
a new element to help viewers get a clearer perspective.
In the distance, people can be seen on the fairway. They look small because the fairway is many feet in depth while the rock is on a hill. The golfers are also across a wide expanse. Someone standing on the fairway would see the view totally different even though they are looking at the same things.
Just as perspective is affected by location, the view will look different to a variety of people no matter where they are based on personal interests and attitudes. Someone who loves nature, may concentrate on the red rock and red sand, a bird lover will focus on the variety of birds in the trees. The wife of the man on the fairway, may wonder why he’s not as work as he said and who he is with and her concern will rise. Someone who enjoys adventure may look beyond the fairway and see the amazing red rock formations in the distance and think of hiking rather than caring a lick about the fairway.
In our lives and the lives of a writer’s characters, we can look beyond POV and analyze, how or why a character’s life and attitudes are influenced by not only what we see but how we see it. We then can better understand our differences with others and be more able to appreciate their perspective more fully. Agreement isn’t required, since difference create conflicts and they are the steam and drive of any good novel. Conflicts also helps to define people and moves them to action and change in their personal lives. When you look at something for a moment, try to view the scene or the action through the eyes of your neighbor or someone else you know. You will learn to understand him better as well as yourself.
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