My oldest did a photography 4-H project this summer. One of the exercises was called “Bird’s Eye, Bugs Eye.” The point was to take photos from very high and very low perspectives, something different from human height.
When I saw the results, I was amazed at how fresh and interesting mundane objects became with a change in perspective.
I was reminded how important it is for writers to freshen their perspectives when I was attending the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Dallas last weekend. In a workshop led by authors James L. Rubart and Cara Putnam, they talked about how writers need to look at people, situations, and settings in unique ways to make their writing stand out.
I wrote about this last January in the post “Finding the Real in the Routine”. If you need to change your perspective, here are some suggestions:
- Walk through a new neighborhood.
- Walk as close as you can to a construction site. (I am a big fan of learning about an area by walking.)
- Find a restaurant that serves a style of food you haven’t tried.
- Read outside the genre you write.
- Watch a movie or TV show that’s different from your usual favorites.
- Sit in different places in your home and see if you spot something new. (Such as laying down on your kids’s beds.)
- Find a plant and study it up close.
- Go to a zoo and watch active animals.
- Visit a library and browse the shelves.
- Go through family albums and pick a few photos to study.
- Pick an unfamiliar, busy location and people watch, without looking at your phone, for ten minutes.
- Take photos of familiar objects from strange angles.
Recently I experienced the rewards of getting a fresh perspective when I changed my walking routine. After I finish the school drop-off, I usually walk around the little town where the school is located. Yesterday, I decided to wade the creek near our property. I found this:
It’s one of three dams we think beavers have built, and we are mounting an expedition to find the lodge.
What do you do to find a new perspective in your writing?