Following on from the previous post about where writers get their ideas, here are a couple of pieces of inspiration that came to me from situations recently.
In a work meeting, I was introduced to someone who looked so like another friend of mine they could easily have been brothers, it was quite disconcerting. This reminded me of the first time I saw a photo of a favourite author, and realised he looks uncannily like an ex-colleague. We do sometimes see people who remind us of others, or who could be the double of someone we know. In fiction these occurrences can be used for deception and mistaken identity, but I’m sure (with a lot of thought) we could come up with a more extraordinary use.
A few weekends ago, I walked out to a sandbank in the inner harbour area at low tide. I was able to go out quite a way, and this gave me a very different view of the harbour bridge than I usually have, and it also gave me a view of the city and marina which I can’t normally see because of the bays and headlands.
In artistic terms, perspective is about painting, drawing or representing three-dimensional objects on a two- dimensional surface to give the impression of height, width, depth and position. In writing terms, it’s about seeing objects, people and events through the eyes and filters of a particular individual, our point of viewcharacter.
You only have to raise the subject of politics to realise that people can view the same person, event or action in very different ways. As a writer, you don’t have to agree with your character’s perspective, but you do have to get into their head to understand how they would view another person or event.
This should make for more realistic characters in our writing, and if it’s something we think about on a personal basis, it could make for more pleasant everyday interactions!