Thursday, May 20, 2010

Changing Points of View and Voice

So, a week or so ago in class, we did this exercise about changing view points. We had to write a narrative in third person limited about a group of people doing something and change points of view for each character while keeping their voice. I like the exercise because I prefer to write in third person and often times it can be difficult to give a character a strong voice. Here is what I wrote for this class exercise:

Lily relaxed her body as she listened to the deep breaths of three clients sitting around the circular table in her spiritual parlor. Her grimiore lay open in front of her; behind it in the centre of the table, stood four white pillar candles. Lily held out her palms to either side and invited her guests to hold hands. As the others closed their eyes, she gazed at the candle flames, watching them wane and bloom in succession. Her eyes drooped as she chanted words from her book; she knew them by heart, but insisted on keeping the grimiore nearby.

Amanda was losing her patience. She’d been sitting around the creepy table for almost an hour and nothing had happened. She rolled her eyes, then shut them again. What was she doing here? The card someone, she assumed Lily, slipped under her apartment door had a date, the time and directions to a location with the words ‘In need of a Spirit Medium?’ written across the top with red grape coloured ink. While she wasn’t in need of a psychic, Amanda’s curiosity got the better of her and she found herself at Lily’s homely cottage anyway. At least she wasn’t like the poor SOBs who came hoping to talk to their dead kid.

A cool breeze blew over Danny’s neck, sending shivers through his body. He wished Madame Lily would close the window, but didn’t want to interrupt her. Danny brought his wife, Erin, to Madame Lily because she was having trouble getting over the loss of their daughter 4 years ago. He received a card inviting him and his wife, and under any normal situation he would have just tossed it, but they had tried every “normal” option without avail. Danny gave Erin’s hand an encouraging squeeze. He couldn’t stop shivering. Was the wind blowing that hard? The only sound Danny heard was Madame Lily chanting.

Tears fell from Erin’s closed eyes as she thought of her baby. She never forgave herself for falling asleep on the couch while three year old Anna wandered outside the house and into the street. The sight of her child bleeding and broken lying in the street bore into her mind unlike any memory she’d ever had. Half of her baby’s grated face was flecked with black from skidding across the assault. Erin felt sick. An immense moan echoed throughout the room and Madame Lily flew to her feet. Lily insisted that they would have to resume at a later time. Erin thought what little was left of her heart was breaking. She tried to protest through sobs, but the words refused to come out. Lily lead them to the front door as she explained something to Danny that Erin couldn’t comprehend through her disappointment.

[READER INVOLVEMENT] Feel free to try this exercise and post it or a link to it! How do you feel about voice and changing points of view?

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