Perspective is everything


Another quick one, I’m afraid, as I’ve got a lot to do before tomorrow. I just wanted to share a few thoughts about different people’s perspectives and priorities.

For example, today I got offered the first job interview I’ve been offered in five years (I’ve had jobs in the interim, but neither of them formally interviewed me). For me, that was the big news of the day. For my sisters, the most exciting thing was that they’ve reached the seven-days-to-go mark in their personal countdown to their holiday. My mum got home from work chuckling about something ridiculous she and her friend had got up to during lunch. When we look back on today, we probably won’t remember the specifics of the date, but if we did I’m sure we’d all see completely different plot points, as it were.

If you’ve got multiple characters in a story, they all have different priorities and ideas. One character might be completely stressing out about developing romantic feelings for their best friend, while other characters may be less interested in the topic or even completely oblivious to it. For the others, an upcoming driving test, a letter from a friend, or the general cuteness of a pet might take priority in their minds. It’s fun to play with that, and it can lead to some interesting moments when priorities change or clash.

You probably also have different priorities to your characters, and it’s important to remember that when you’re writing them. My first reaction to being suddenly caught in the rain would probably be to find somewhere to duck into and put my hood up before going on my way. The Wicked Witch of the West would probably dive into the deepest cover she could find and stay there until the sun came out. A particularly dedicated computer hacker might well not even notice the weather, committed to finding the best possible Wi-Fi signal. You get the idea. Knowing a character’s priorities makes it easier for you – as reader or author – to know the character.

Anyway, that’s my thought for today. See you tomorrow!


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