Accessing Deep Point of View Via Description—A Writing Exercise!

By Bonnie Randall

Part of The How They Do It Series

JH: POV is a vital and powerful tool for writers. Bonnie Randall shares a fun writing exercise to sharper your point-of-view skills.

Shout-out to the cable news personality who recently described a certain Canadian Premier as a “demonic hedgehog.” It didn’t just make me laugh, it also inspired this month’s column on accessing Deep Point of View via descriptions.

The way an individual sees the world offers insight into how we, in turn, see that individual. In other words, a benevolent and soft-spoken anchor would be unlikely to pair demons with hedgehogs. A sarcastic wise-guy though…? It’s demonic hedgehogs all the way, baby!

Think of the last time a character in your fiction was in a setting. Was the sun blistering their skin, or was it beaming? Did that same sun illuminate everything they’d rather not look at, or did they have to squint away their chronic hangover? Andrew, the hero of my paranormal suspense Within The Summit’s Shadow—and an acerbic, pessimistic kinda guy—travels to Vancouver for a stakeout where he “Sat in the pissing rain. Typical Vancouver.”

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