Lesson 14: Character Perspective

Almost all of storytelling is told from a particular character's perspective. In first person writing, this is fairly absolute, but even the so-called "third person omniscient" is flavoured by specific character perspectives, though the narration may jump from person to person.

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.

RE: Lesson 14: Character Perspective

Here's my attempt.


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.

RE: Lesson 14: Character Perspective

@MoonRake: Bonus star for being exactly 500 words :P

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!

RE: Lesson 14: Character Perspective

Hiya, I'd love to get some feedback to improve on my writing. Please treat my kindly, teach. :D


“Let’s see now...”
I mumbled as I carefully tread the pages of the old textbook, looking for the right chapter.

“We’ve already covered carbonyls yesterday. The professor said the test will cover enolate ions and enols, so let’s do them now. Is that okay with you, Kiki?”

Kieran replied to me as he absentmindedly twirls his pen around his fingers.

“We won’t have time to do all of the problems, so let’s just focus on some that we got hinted on,”
I said to him as I show him the problems I marked on the textbook.

Seriously, this guy... he was the one who asked me to tutor him. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining, though I would’ve if it’s not for his good results. Heck, I don’t even know why he came to me in the first place. He didn’t seem to be having any problem with getting straight “A”s, even with all his activities on the side. He’s someone living in a different world than my lonely shell. Always so bright and surrounded by friends.

So imagine my surprise when he suddenly asked me to tutor him. ME, of all people, someone whom he’s never even spoken to. Thanks to that, the girls have been looking at me with contempt lately. Just yesterday, someone pulled a prank on me by calling animal control on my apartment. Apparently, there was a “stray bitch on the loose”.

I wouldn’t have continued the tutoring if this guy hadn’t offered me those part time jobs. Must be nice to have many connections, huh.

“Oh, don’t forget about the essay due tomorrow. You always seem so busy, so.... you know, maybe you’d forgotten or something.”


Urgh... I give up. There’s no way I’m getting any reaction out of this guy.

“We’ve already covered carbonyls yesterday. The professor said the test will cover enolate ions and....”
I’ve stopped listening at this point. 
Truth is, I feel bad for her, to be honest. I know she has to support herself, with what happened with her parents and all. Taking her time when I don’t even need all this just leaves a bad taste, but I can’t help it. I’m completely enamored with her. 

Her lustrous hair, swaying slightly in the gentle breeze... the faint fragrance whenever her wrists came close to me..., and oh, the sexy way she fixes her glasses... Sometimes I wonder if she’s trying to seduce me. Maybe she is? Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself? 

As a debater, I’m used to running off my mouth on the things I have in mind, and that’s why I’ve been holding back, lest I’ll scare her off. I’ll be frank; it’s been torture. I want her to know how I would get lost in her bewitching eyes everytime, how I love how she plays with her fingers everytime she’s in thought, and how she only bathes in the morning but lies about it.

Oh, Lola. Won’t you become mine?  

Never mind, didn't know school was closed. Sad