PROMPT: Gaining Perspective

Try writing a piece from the perspectives of two different characters.

At VoiceCATCH this morning, we looked at Louise Erdrich’s Tracks as an example. Erdrich uses two narrators in Tracks to tell the story of why an Anishinaabe Native American mother, Fleur, left her child at a government boarding school. The first narrator, Nanapush, is Fleur’s adoptive father. The second narrator, Pauline, worked with Fleur when they both lived off the reservation, and acts as an observer to many of the events in the novel. The narration alternates in chapters between Nanapush and Pauline. Through these, we learn about Fleur, Nanapush, Pauline and the community at large.

Choose one event/place/person/object and write about it from the perspectives of two characters. Here are a few ideas:

A brother and a sister (or two brothers, two sisters) write about their mother/father.

A brother and sister write about their home or hometown.

Two parties in a romantic relationship write about an unusual event.

A parent and a child write about an important event in the family’s history.

Two colleagues at work write about a third colleague.

Two characters who don’t know each other write about an event, place, person or object.

This may become a stand-alone piece in which you choose to keep both narrators. Or, if you later choose to tell the story through only one narrator,  it may serve as an exercise in understanding the characters’ actions and motivations.