POINT OF VIEW

POVI was scrolling through the photos on my phone when I came across this picture my four year-old son, Enrico took, unbeknownst to me. The first thing I thought when I saw this was: point of view. Before I noticed his shoes at the bottom, I knew I didn’t take the photo. There’s something “off” about the point of view. I couldn’t take this photo. I’m much taller and I would have straightened the frame.

I get a strong feeling from seeing Enrico’s point of view. I’m in his head, behind his eyes for the moment. For once, I’m not gazing on this room thinking of the tidying that’s needed. I sense his enjoyment of the rooms in the photo. Perhaps wondering what he’ll do next, when he puts down mom’s phone.

When I think of all the elements of fiction that one needs to get right to make any piece work, I’m nearly suffocating with stress and the impossibility of it all. Character, narrative drive, arc, plot, setting, language, voice and point of view, to name a few. It’s staggering. I suppose the more writing you do, the more these things happen naturally and they don’t have to be thought of with each and every sentence. But they do have to be worked on to some degree, often an extreme one that leaves me incapacitated and wanting just to retreat into great reading, or at least more caffeine.

Well, here’s to point of view. Next time I’m a bit immobilized by the work (is that what’s happening today?) I might just do a short exercise focusing on one darn thing: the skewed room with the little shoes at the bottom.

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3 comments

  1. Thanks for writing that. It’s true that we don’t put ourselves in our children’s shoes often enough or imagine how they see the world, from their height.

    It’s strange to think how a child’s point of view is constantly shifting as they grow. Though I don’t remember being aware of that change when I was a child. It would feel very Alice in Wonderlandish to be aware of the height of your eyes rising in relation to the world around you. Like a slow-motion cherry-picker.

    I suppose Enrico’s point of view of you will change once he’s a teenager and taller than you. Everyone’s point of view changes at that point!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting post, Rachel: perspective changes so many things, doesn’t it? Now all but one of my children is taller than I am, yet I see in the room is different from what each of them sees.

    Good luck sorting out your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

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