Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Photo Tuesday - Perspectives

Most of us are used to viewing the world from our own perspective. Wherever we go, we tend to see our surroundings from one height. However, that may differ from our characters!

In the case of a child, the height difference may be great. Get down on your knees and look around the room. Quite a change isn't it? You no longer look down on most objects. Counters and table tops may be at eye level. You no longer stare at the roof of the car - you stare at the taillight.

Twelve inches can make a big difference in terms of perspective, too. While someone 6'3" may have a clear view of the scene, a person who's only 5'3" will not see it so clearly.

Consider viewpoint when your characters change position, too. Bending over, kneeling, lying down - these all offer different viewpoints.

Do you remember to alter perspective when writing from a character shorter or taller than you?

Remember to place objects where your character would naturally see them - but only if you want to suffer the consequences!


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Good points, Diane. This could be useful while writing mysteries...different witnesses seeing different things. Thanks!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Unknown said...

LOL - okay, I actually went on my hands and knees and took a look around. Not only is the perspective different, it's COLD down there! No wonder my litle furry hugs herself right up against the heat register in the winter! :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Oh, be sure your floor is clean first!

Morgan Mandel said...

Rascal has decided anything on the floor is hers, so she tries to eat it even if it's not edible.

Fortunately, she usually leaves other eye level stuff alone.

I've mentioned before how my father-in-law always has a thing about dust on the top of the refrigerator. I never even thought of it because I don't see that high up.

Morgan Mandel

Missy B. said...

That is really something to think about!! Now I am going to go home and crawl around, just to get a different perspective! Also, I stared at that taillight a long time and could not figure out what it was. :)

Helen Ginger said...

Good advice, Diane. I'm normally aware of how things change depending on your height since my family ranges so much in height. It also affects how your characters do things. When I need a bowl from the top shelf in the kitchen, I either get the step stool or call on my husband or son. They ,on the other hand, will reach up an get a bowl down, never considering that it means I have to figure out a way to put it back. Incidentally, I'm 5'9".

Straight From Hel

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Happy to confuse, Missy!

Morgan, just pretend the dust on the fridge isn't even there!

Helen, I'm even worse off - 5'3". However, I am very adept at climbing on counters.

Allyn Evans said...

I'm also a 5'3" person. My tennis buddies love that I forget how tall I am. I am always jumping for balls that are WAY out of my reach.

I think in a previous life, I was taller. Ha!

Fun post, Diane!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Poetry sometimes forces a new perspective, too. We look at something, search for new associations.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Author of the multi award-winning chapbook of poetry, Tracings

Sharon Lippincott said...

I had a startling experience one time looking into a mirror behind a nose-high chest of drawers. I felt five years old again -- or like I'd eaten one of Alice's "Shrink Me" wafers.

This is great advice for memoir writers!