The Importance of Perspective

Story time, Squiders. When my husband and I got married, we had an outdoor ceremony. We wanted to include a unity ceremony, but the “normal” one (you’ve probably seen it somewhere–the bride and groom each have a candle and use them to light a bigger central candle) seemed like a bad idea in unsure weather conditions.

(Actually, my cousin had an outdoor wedding a few months before ours, so I know it’s not the best idea.)

I did some research on alternatives, and we ended up doing a wine unity ceremony, which involved our mothers pouring two different wines into a Scottish drinking vessel called a quaich, which we each drank out of.

We didn’t mean any symbolism beyond your basic unity ceremony symbolism (two people united as one) but we got a lot of comments afterwards about it.

My extremely Catholic family saw it as relating to communion. Our friends from California saw it as a commentary on our love of wine. Some friends assumed that it was a Scottish tradition, since we included a lot of Scottish elements to our ceremony.

Everybody who saw that ceremony brought their own interpretation based on what they knew of us and what their own experiences related that to.

What’s my point? People interpret the world differently, based off their backgrounds, experiences, beliefs, and thoughts. So, when writing, it’s important to take that into account. A character who grew up an orphan will have a different perspective than a trust fund brat, and someone with children will react differently than someone without.

It’s important to make sure that diverse characters react diversely, and that the different characters are also different from you, especially if your background is different than theirs.

And fiction can become that much richer when you allow varying perspectives to shine through.

Do you have examples, Squiders, of either good examples of diverse perspectives, or of bad ones where everyone reads the same? Any tips on how to write perspectives different from your own?

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Well put.

    Reply

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