Wednesday, September 5, 2018


Creating New Perspectives Through Creative Writing

Here's a video introduction to the concept:

So, how does one create a unique worldview for a character? 


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The emic perspective means to view a culture as members of the culture would view it vs. looking at it from the outside of the culture.  Being able to look at culture from an emic perspective allows you to be more culturally understanding which is essential in a global society and in a community that values social justice, acceptance, and understanding.  To learn more about the emic persepective, please check out this brief article drawn from an anthroplogy text: Emic vs. Etic Perspectives

Learning to "go emic" is also exceptionally useful when creating a character. When you explore how a characters culture, life experiences, and current situation shape how z/s/he sees the world, then you can create a unique character perspective that  allows you & your reader to see the world through a new perspective.  

If you do this for each character in a situation, then you can create genuine tension and depth that is common when people with unique worldviews interact. Showing characters navigate this tension can also offer insights on how to do just that to your readers. 

This is How I See It

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Using a characters invidualized worldview to create imagery allows you to give a unique perspective of the world in a way that expands your readers' understanding and renews their view of the world.

Two people can see the same thing very differently.  If you grew up in Louisiana you'd the freezing of the Mississippi river very differntly than someone from Minnesota who sees that nearly every year. 

Allowing a character's worldview to shape the imagery that character uses creates an indepth psychological realism that's particularly useful if you're writing a historical, fantasy, science fiction, or crosscultural piece. 

Here's an exercise to help you learn how to do it:

Your Turn:

Choose an every day object, food, or event, then describe it from perspective from the persepective of 3-5 different characters from very different cultural circumstances.  


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