Lesson 14: Character Perspective
One of the strengths of writing compared to other mediums of storytelling is the ability to provide detailed perspectives from different characters' points of view. Visual mediums, such as television and film, are much more "omniscient" in that the camera records events outside of any character and their intimate thoughts.
Vague prompt: In 500 words, depict a scene that changes character perspective halfway through. Focus on depicting the characters' unique reactions to the same events. This may be done in 1st or 3rd person PoV.
Specific prompt: Penelope is a university student tutoring Kieran in organic chemistry. In 500 words, depict one of their tutoring sessions, switching character perspective halfway through. This may be done in 1st or 3rd person PoV.
Farner the crow was unhappy. The humans in white coats kept on visiting him, waking him from his dreams quite often. They would poke him with their metal fingers, pinch parts of his body, then leave.
He could never see what the metal fingers looked like, because the humans held him down on his side while they poked him. After a while, he had gotten used to this treatment. But the feeling afterwards, that was something Farner would never grow accustomed to. He couldn’t keep his food down after they poked him. Getting the shivers was a common occurrence, so too was falling unconscious. After some time, he would feel better. Though it was never too long before those people came back.
Reminiscing, he recalled to a time before he was caught by these people. Back to when he had a more complex lifestyle. He’d fly around the city where he was born, never venturing out of it. Sometimes picking through the black bags at the side of the grey strips of land, sometimes feasting on the meat of a flattened creature who made the mistake of getting in the way of those shiny boxes.
As he remembered, he grew tired. Slipping into a slumber, he put his head between his wing before the memories took hold, drawing him once more into the past which projected itself onto his mind for the majority of his captivity.
He slept, though the world around him would never do so.
Soon enough, the clinking of metal caused rose him from his slumber. Discontent, he let out an indignant noise.
“Caw! Caw! Caw!” Martin, one of the primary caretakers of specimen 34 laughed as he mocked the crow who had just been woken up from inside of its enclosure. He continued his ill-performed rendition of the specimen’s screaming until one of his colleagues told him to shut-up.
“Alright, little guy,” Martin finally sobered up from his reverie, ceasing with his jokes. He started his voice recorder, extracted the chemicals for the treatment, then held the crow down. It squirmed under his grasp, obviously frightened by the needle which was going to be puncturing its body for the last time— ever. This was the final treatment before either the experiment would be a success, or fail like all of the others.
He voiced his way through standard procedures, observing the crow’s reaction to being the subject of this torment. Eventually, Martin stopped talking and watched specimen 34 convulse under the effects of the treatment.
He felt envious, to a degree. The crow was saved from its mundane life and given a grand purpose. In contrast, Martin’s own life was dull and boring. He felt trapped in this city, where all anyone ever talked about was advancement of technology, of relationships, of anything. So long as it could be improved, or even just changed, it would be.
Martin, who grew up here, thought it was human nature. Not something a crow could understand, at any rate.
Just a pointer for any future writing you do: Put an extra line break or some kind of marker (like a horizontal rule or something like "***") when you are switching character perspectives so that readers don't get disoriented.
Interesting take on the prompt, choosing an animal as one of the perspectives. I would have liked it if the crow's perspective was a little more "animalistic". Maybe pick a name made up of crow sounds, use simple sentence structures and vocabulary, and focus more on the immediate present.
Ideally, when you switch perspectives for the purpose of depicting different interpretations of the same event, your depiction should be clear enough that you do not need emphasize the purpose by using "in contrast" or "Not something a crow could understand, at any rate."
Overall, good job!
Never mind, didn't know school was closed.