What Do Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Stories Allow Readers To Do Practicing Point of View – Writing Exercise

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Practicing Point of View – Writing Exercise

An article’s point of view is how the story/scene is told to the reader. Essentially, it answers the question, “Through whose eyes are we seeing this story?” Different perspectives can tell the reader different things, some more profoundly and others more limited. Following are 4 types of perspectives, with their advantages and limitations:

  1. 1st Person – The 1st person narrator is seen through the eyes of the main character. Although the reader can both see what the narrator is seeing and what the narrator is experiencing, the limitations are the same problem. We are only aware of that as far as the narrator knows. If the narrator is not there, we have no direct knowledge of what happened. First-person narration usually takes the form of “I” telling the story.
  2. 2nd Person – Least used form of narrative. Usually “you” takes the form of the narrator and tries to tell the story so that you as the reader can become more involved in the events of the story.
  3. 3rd Person Limited – 3rd person narration told by someone other than the main character. You are allowed the same benefits and limitations of first person narration. This allows you to see the story from a different vantage point. The only problem is with 1st person narration. The narrator is limited to what he/she sees.
  4. 3rd person omniscient – this type of narrator sees all and knows all. Anything important to the story is told. The problem with this type of narrator is that sometimes too much information can overwhelm the reader.

A good writing exercise is to practice writing the same scene from different perspectives. Below are 3 examples of the same scene, where a character lets someone down. The first two examples are told in 1st person, first from the point of view of the disappointed person and then from the point of view of the person who did the disappointing. Final perspective is 3rd person finite, following the person who did the depressing.

First – 1st person disappointed:

It was a foreboding, sunny day and as a child, I was living a carefree, enjoyable afternoon. Vacation was fun. We played four squares and I actually won. Now the bell was ringing and I crossed the four square area of ​​blacktop with a huge smile on my face. I bounced against the fence, backpack slung over one shoulder, one shoe undone. I gripped the chain link fence with two fingers and peered through the opening, closing one eye in the process to focus…

2nd – 1st person dejected:

I spun around in my chair, crashing the pile of files onto the desk as I knocked on the door. “Sir, Mr. Jones is on the phone. Would it be okay if we move tomorrow’s meeting to 2pm?” Janet asked. “Yes, of course. Something for Mr. Jones,” I replied, searching through the pile of files, beginning to forget what I was looking for. I looked at my watch. Shoot. Already at 3:30 he is going to be upset with me. I picked up the phone and dialed the school number. “Hello, Mrs. Smith. Sorry, but I’m running a little late today. Can you keep an eye on him for a few minutes until I get there?”

Third – 3rd Person Limited – Disappointing:

Tom grabbed an armful of files from the bottom drawer of his file cabinet, turned his chair toward his desk, and dropped the files onto his desk, letting out a huge sigh in the process. “Mr. and Mrs. Townsend. Townsend. Townsend. Where are you?” He thought, file after file buzzing. A hard, single knock on the door jerked his head up, causing him to knock a few files onto the floor. “Sir, Mr. Jones just called.”

As you can see from these examples, each perspective has a different emotion and way of telling the story behind it. Depending on what the focus of the story is will help you decide which perspective to choose. Although this example is limited, both in view and in the fact that not all views are discussed, it still makes some important points. By trying this exercise, you start building characters. From a first-person perspective, the focus is on what the character is doing. By practicing this in third person as well, you can get a better sense of your character’s surroundings by focusing on both the scene and their actions instead of just their actions. Then, if you choose first-person narration, it can give you more to draw on. You can grow your character just by practicing this way.

Additionally, you can learn more about the interactions between characters before using them. For example, just from reading the first example, the reader understands that the character is generally a happy kid and just waiting. However, by looking at other examples, you can realize that this is probably happening a lot and you can stop that constant frustration in the final scene.

I recommend trying this exercise. Change scenes, characters, and/or perspective. Either way you’ll learn a lot about the characters you’re trying to portray and put yourself on the path to a great story.

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