Wednesday, May 13, 2015


During their school years, I’m sure most kids had a class they didn’t look forward to. Mine changed as I got older, but when I was in grade school, I hated Art class.

I groaned a lot when I saw our teacher, which was a lot because, unfortunately, she was my mother. Despite being her offspring, I can’t draw. Doodle yes; draw no, evident in the fact that I got a D in art.

My mother didn’t give up trying, she even convinced me to take art in seventh grade. Frankly, both of us figured if someone else taught me it would work better.

Well he did give me a C. I guess that’s better, but I still can’t draw. I can barely even tell you what perspective is. And, heck, that’s vocabulary, not art!

I can still see my mother drawing lines at an angle over the paper, and then sketching different things at different spots on the graph she made, as she talked about how to make things larger that are closer and smaller that are further away.

Next to the color wheel, perspective was probably the easiest thing for me to learn. It made sense to me.
Of course, when I gave up on being an artist, I figured I didn’t have to worry about perspective ever again. That is until the other day when it dawned on me I have to deal with it all the time.
POV is perspective!

And boy is there a lot more to perspective when you’re using words rather than drawings. In writing, perspective isn’t affected by how near or far the thing is, its affected by era, upbringing, attitude, experience, and setting.

A character from say the 1830’s is going to have a different attitude, experience, and even upbringing than one from today. They’d use different term too. Of course, characters from the same era can have different attitudes, depending on upbringing or experience. Perspective makes a huge difference.

It can make a difference in how you’d write a scene too.

Is the narration in the narrator’s voice or the character’s voice?
What attitude does the character have? What is the character’s experience? How a character feels about the events around them will affect how they respond to those events and two characters are going to respond alike.

Number one, if they did, it would make for a boring story, and number two, it wouldn’t be realistic. Even Konnie and I don’t respond the same to any given situation; we don’t think alike – most of the time. After all, while our formative vital statics are virtually the same, there’s that little she’s shy I’m not issue that makes a huge difference in how we feel.

Writing perspective isn’t showing the vista from where the character is standing, it’s about attitude since an outdoorsy person would view the same forest differently than a city person making the story different.

And I find it changes everything in the story, when I change the POV. Don’t you?

And it’s time to get back to my writing! Have fun everyone. J


  1. Perspective IS hugely important, you're right! Although personally, I always confuse POV and narrative voice. I just write, and hope someone will read it. :)

  2. Learning the difference will help you improve your writing.

  3. I never thought of connecting perspective in art with perspective in writing. Good post. I feel your pain. I had my mother in second grade, but she never graded tests or gave me a grade. She was afraid she would be accused of favoritism. But hey, it was a very difficult year for both of us. I didn't even call her mom during school. And you can bet she was harder on me than any of the other kids. So I'm sure your mother judged your art through that lens as mother/daughter rather than student/teacher and had to be more harsh with you too.

  4. Mom wouldn't let us call her that at school, but it was a small private school and some of the other students were our cousins so I doubt the other students didn't realize she was our mother.