“You know what I'm craving? A little perspective.
That's it. I'd like some fresh, clear, well-seasoned perspective.
Can you suggest a good wine to go with that?”
~ Anton Ego in Ratatouille
Fresh perspective is such a delicious treat! There’s nothing like it in the world to get those creative juices flowing. In fact, whenever I am stuck on a project, I order a plate piled high with newly-picked perspective.
Here’s how it works —
Take a story, any story, and tell it from a different character’s point of view.
Most folks, for example, are pretty familiar with the Disney version of Snow White — jealous queen, magic mirror, 7 guys of short stature, poisoned apple, coma, kissy prince, happily ever… blah blah blah blah. But what would Grumpy have to say about it all?
Hmmm…maybe something like this —
Dames! They are nothing but trouble! Your life is going along just fine, thank you very much, and then some dame walks in and ruins it.
Me and my buddies come home from work one day, and there she is sleeping on our beds like she’s suffering from delusions of Goldilocks or something. As if that weren't bad enough (and trust me, it was) — I’m telling you, the very presence of a dame lowers the IQ points of 6 out of 7 dwarfs. I've been stuck with Snow White and the 6 Dopeys ever since. They've all gone absolutely gaga over her, and I’m like — “Hello!? She’s, like, a trespasser!?”
They don’t listen. They enjoy the fact that she cooks and cleans and reaches high shelves with ease. But I, for one, do not. Case in point — I had a fantastic dust bunny collection before her arrival, and somehow they've all disappeared… every last one. Do you have any idea how long it takes to save 982 dust bunnies? Decades, man, decades.
One day with a dame and they’re gone. So are the rugby games…
and the keggers.
PROMPT: Many great books have been written from the perspective of a different character in a familiar tale. For kids, check out John Scieszka and Lane Smith’s The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.
For adults, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and Wicked by Gregory Maguire are terrific.
Visual artists can also benefit from this method — what does the world look like from the “eyes” of a flea, a starfish, or even the apple in a still life?
Change your point of view — see the world deliciously new!