Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One Room, Many Views

One character is eager to sit down and enjoy a delicious meal.

Another is annoyed because they're not sitting in the place of honour next to the host at the head of the table.

One character is judging the quality of the china and crystal.

Another is focused only on the artwork on the walls.

One character is allergic to the flowers in the arrangement and is worried they'll sneeze throughout the meal.

One has never been to a dinner like this before and is afraid of embarrassing themselves by using the wrong fork.

I try to remember that every character sees the same scene through their own eyes and through the maze of their own prejudices and priorities.

Every experience is unique.


  1. Elspeth - You are so absolutely right about how different people view the same event. I'm thinking as I read this about Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None(AKA Ten Little Indians). In that story, we get the views of several different characters, and I think that adds to the suspense.

    Thanks for the reminder, too - I'm having to figure just that angle out in my WIP, and you've given me some great ideas!

  2. Margot; I'm pleased to help! I think this is why I write from several POVs.

  3. Nice blog post. Even if you write from only one point of view, it's good to remember what motivates each of the characters.

  4. Lou; Thanks! I think we all need to remember each character reacts in their own way, regardless of what POV we employ.

  5. Yes! So very true. Love that photo - everything is quite prim and proper.

  6. So true. The same thing looks so different to different people. That's the beauty of PoVs.

  7. Very true - and hard for the writer to leave their 'own' perspective out of it.

  8. A great point--and very helpful for a mystery writer, since each person has their own POV on the crime and victim. Great post!

  9. Excellent observations, Elspeth. This is the very reason why the police interview dozens of witnesses to a crime if they're available. No two people see the same thing.



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