Pep & Prompt #7: Switch the POV

Howsabout a little light psychology to fuel your writing brain today?

Let’s talk POV (point of view).

Perspective makes a BIG difference to a story.

How would we feel about Adam (the ‘Monster’) if Frankenstein had only offered us Victor’s whiny little point of view?

Can you imagine Star Wars from Vader’s perspective? Would we end up rooting for Darth as an ostracised, misunderstood underdog, constantly trying to fend off terrorist attacks to keep his people safe?

Or what if you re-wrote Hamlet and let Ophelia or Gertrude soliloquise their socks off?

Every story has the potential to be flipped on its arse and show us a whole new perspective.

Switching the POV = magic beans.

Just have a gander at this brilliant infographic on COGNITIVE BIAS – sneaky little changes in perspective or presupposition or preconception that make us believe things to be a certain way simply because they suit our world view:

Good innit? Makes you wonder what cognitive biases your fictional characters might be susceptible to in order to make them behave the way they do…

<writer brain cogs turning>

RIGHT! Time to write…

Quick, quick, while you’re in the mood, take a look at the picture prompts below, and have a go at telling the same story from 3 different perspectives…

This could be a literal switch in perspective (from ‘I’ to ‘you’ to ‘he/she/they’) or it could be a character switcheroo so we’re witnessing the same event from three different people’s POV. Or why not switch the tense? A story told in present tense is hugely different from one told in third – or go nuts and have a go at future perfect continuous, just because you can. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

tl;dr: Grab a prompt. Tell the story 3 different ways. Boom.

Photo credit: Aaron Favila/AP

Photo credit: Jon Kral

Photo credit: Vivian Maier


Switch the POV.




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