As an author, it is important to understand perspective. It can drive a story down many different paths. The same events can be related, but when told from different perspectives, the events can completely change. Perspective drives a story, relationships, and the future.
What is Perspective?
When it comes to defining anything, I first go to Webster. According to this source, perspective is “the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed…the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance…a mental view.” It is the window you look through.
Why is it important? Because it is very powerful.
The Power of Perspective
Explaining the power of perspective is hard. You really have to have vivid examples to understand it. So let me give you one or two from my own life.
Person A sees me struggling in the kitchen getting dinner ready while taking care of kids. She comes in and volunteers to help with the mashed potatoes. The next day she explains to her coworkers how she had to teach me how to make mashed potatoes. Her perception was that since she had to help me I didn’t know what I was doing. My perception was that I only had two hands.
Person B finds two incidents where I coded a transaction wrong. They were unique and rarely happen that way. When the issue arose, the mistake was pointed out. The next day I was called into a superior’s office because I continually make the same mistakes and don’t fix them. Her perception was that I never do it right. My perception was that it just happened and I wasn’t given the chance to do it right.
See how perception can change the picture? History is a plethora of examples. For example, Lucretia Borgia is known as a murderous siren. The truth is that she was a pawn of her powerful father and probably committed no crimes. The perception of her father’s enemies was strong enough to endure hundreds of years of scandal.
How to Use in a Story
With using perspective in your writing, you have a tool that you can influence your readers. Want a character to be hated? You can achieve that by using the perspective of a…