Home
Historical Romance
Contemporary Romance
E-books
Audio books
Non Fiction Books
Events
Help for Writers
Classroom on the Web
Leigh's Store
Free Stuff
Buying Books
Newsletter
About Leigh
Press Inquiries
Contact Leigh

Point of View & Perspective

Your challenge as you write about two characters with opposing opinions is to put aside your own feelings and figure out at how people who are very different from you would look at this situation. The natural inclination is to make one side of the equation--the side most like your natural opinions--stronger. To do so, however, makes the character with the opposing stance appear to be stupid or merely stubborn. Think of yourself as a debater who is researching the subject so you can effectively argue either side of a proposition.

Each of the following examples presents one event and two people who are closely involved in it, people who each have definite feelings and opinions about what is going on or what should be done. Your goal is to put yourself into the shoes of each of those people and figure out what that individual is thinking, feeling, and sensing.

As you think about the disagreements listed here, try to put yourself in the position of each participant, one at a time, and make the strongest possible case for that person's feelings.

Also consider what each person would notice about his or her surroundings, and think about how he or she would feel.

Event: A policeman who has been charged with assault--using unnecessary force to subdue a prisoner--stands trial, is acquitted of the charge by a jury, and is free to leave the courthouse.

What is the cop thinking, feeling, seeing, and sensing?

What is the the mother of the prisoner thinking, feeling, seeing, and sensing?

(Read an example of how this scenario might play out)

Event: A seventy-year-old woman, suffering from a cancer which will eventually be terminal but has not yet reached the final stages, has a stroke and is comatose. The extent of damage done by the stroke is not yet known, though it is clear she does retain brain function. The doctor asks her adult children whether they wish to put a "Do Not Resuscitate" order on her chart. The viewpoint characters are the children, a daughter of fifty who has lived near the mother and has shared in her care since her cancer diagnosis, and a daughter of forty-five who has lived halfway across the country and has seen the mother only once in the last five years. They go into the mother's room for their discussion.

What is the "helper" child thinking, feeling, seeing, and sensing?

What is the "absent" child thinking, feeling, seeing, and sensing?

Event: A boss calls an employee into his office to give him/her a termination notice.

What is the boss thinking, feeling, seeing, and sensing?

What is the employee thinking, feeling, seeing, and sensing?

Event: A husband and wife return home from a party given by the company he works for. The husband has had a good time dancing with the women he works with; the wife, perhaps because the husband was having such a good time, has had a little too much to drink.

What is the husband thinking, feeling, seeing, and sensing?

What is the wife thinking, feeling, seeing, and sensing?

Event: An ex-husband and ex-wife encounter each other for the first time in years at their daughter's wedding.

What is the ex-husband thinking, feeling, seeing, and sensing?

What is the ex-wife thinking, feeling, seeing, and sensing?

Event: A customer brings a purchase back to the customer service department of a department store, after the 30-day no-questions return period, and announces that he's lost the receipt.

What is the customer thinking, feeling, seeing, and sensing?

What is the clerk thinking, feeling, seeing, and sensing?

Event: A person who detests surprise parties is the unwitting and unwilling honoree at a surprise party given by a friend who meant well but didn't know about the person's feelings.

What is the person who detests surprise parties thinking, feeling, seeing, and sensing?

What is the the well-meaning friend thinking, feeling, seeing, and sensing?

Write the conversation which ensues between each pair of characters.

This exercise is copyrighted material and is offered for the individual's own use. Further distribution or sale is not permitted without permission of the copyright holder. Copyright 2013 Leigh Michaels.

return to Classroom on the Web main page

     Copyright Leigh Michaels         Return to Home