Writing Assignment: Describe A Specific Physical Point Of View

by Randy Murray on January 14, 2011

Point Of View (POV) is an essential tool for the writer. Perhaps the easiest way to envision POV is to pick up a camera and take a picture. The image you end up with has a very specific POV. It was taken from a specific spot, pointed in a single direction, at a precise elevation, and with a limited viewing width. Someone standing beside you has a similar POV, but not exactly the same one.

POV is not restricted to vision alone. You or your characters’ POV is the way you or they see the world. In fiction an author can augment this by letting us inside the characters’ heads, to read their thoughts as well as see what they see. It’s a way of showing not only what a character sees and thinks, but of limiting it as well. It is a critical element to develop in one’s writing.

For more detail on POV, see Perspective, Opinion, and Point Of View — Distinctions That Matter To Writers And Readers

For today’s assignment, write a brief description from a specific physical point of view.

Here’s my example:

Although the desktop is mostly clear, the vacuum cleaner still sits there, in front of the fish tank. Sandy, my dusty orange cat, doesn’t care. He sleeps in the chair beside the vacuum. If I were to step away from the keyboard for a moment, I could turn on the light. It’s getting dark as evening approaches and the gray Ohio sky didn’t let through much light today as it was.

But if I get up to turn on the light, I probably should plug in that sweeper and use it. Which means I’d need to pick up the piles of books, the paintings leaning against the bookcase, and the wrapping paper remnants from Christmas.

I’ll let the cat sleep a while longer and keep typing.

You may leave your completed assignment in the comments section below.

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