Nothing new under the sun? You need to change your point of view.

When it comes to writing an “original” story, many people are cynical and say that there is nothing original left to write, everything has been done.

This may be true when it comes to general themes that can be found in a story, but there is plenty of material available to develop an original idea. I love to read stories that leave me thinking: “Wow…I wish I’d written that!”

But it’s not enough to have an original idea if the writing is poor or bland or unimaginative.

For example, say that you want to write a story from the point of view of a cocaine “tooter,” those thin, little pipes that junkies use to snort coke.

Of the two samples below, which would you rather read?

1) She sticks the cocaine tooter—a tooter is slang for those little tubes used for snorting coke—into her nose and snorts a line of coke. It’s dark and wet and sticky inside here. I don’t like being a tooter. I don’t like the feel of boogers on my body.

Or:

2) She strokes my hard shaft and guides me inside her where I shoot her with my white stuff. She takes what I deliver deep into her body and sighs in ecstasy. She loves me. I could care less if she lives or dies. I’ll just move on to the next one.

Which of the above samples compels you to read more and find out what is going on? Not only that, which one doesn’t have a POV shift?

Granted that you may or may not be able to support a whole novel or series from such a viewpoint, but you see how it is possible for you to take something totally mundane and create a story that’s original.

Try it.

©2012 by Zetta Brown. Some Rights Reserved.

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5 thoughts on “Nothing new under the sun? You need to change your point of view.

  1. Holy moly! What an amazing POV lesson. I’m actually a bit speechless.

    So often your articles address something I’m struggling with right then, and I was, indeed, contemplating a POV shift in a difficult scene.

    But THIS.!! My mind went off in an completely unexpected and startling direction, and I think it could be the making of my novel. Amazing.

    Thanks! I needed that.

    Cheers, Faith

    1. Hi Tonya!
      It’s eerie how ideas can come out of nowhere when you simply change the viewpoint. My husband and I went out to dinner the other night. He’s also an author, and over desert, we were talking about this and I said, “What if…” and we came up with a solid story idea.

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