After watching a bit of Doctor Who, I got a hold of the commentary for the episode “School Reunion.” Besides introducing me to a woman who would become one of my favorite fictional characters, it taught me a lesson.
Things have different points of view.
One on hand, in “School Reunion,” you can see it from Rose’s point of view. This woman who travelled with the Doctor shows up and she does get a glimpse of what life can look like after being on Team TARDIS.
On the other, you see it from The Doctor’s point of view. He’s run into Sarah Jane Smith. Keep in mind, this Doctor is played by David Tennant who sees Sarah Jane Smith as “the Doctor’s true companion.”
Then again, there’s Sarah Jane’s point of view. She laters tells her rag tag group of co-investigators that for a while she lived with a lot of anger. Anger at being trapped on Earth, anger at the Doctor for leaving her, grief that he might have died, grief her aunt died, grief that she never knew her parents…
We see her realize that while she might not be a member of Team TARDIS anymore (officially that is, she always will be) she can have plenty of adventures right there on Earth. It can always use someone like Sarah Jane Smith.
Same story, three different ways to see it.
Writing is no different. How you connect to a story is the Point of View (POV) of the story. Oddly enough, this isn’t going to be a post on the do’s and don’ts of POV (though I am due for one).
I was working on a short story and wrote the first scene and wasn’t really happy with it. While I stayed with my POV character, I came at it from another angle.
Same story, different side to it.
Sometimes that’s the trick to coming at a story. You change the way you come at it.
Are you Rose?
Sarah Jane Smith?
You get what I mean. While you might not necessarily change your POV character, you change how she tells the story. Instead of someone sitting at their desk agonizing you into a deep dark pit of telling and not showing, you make them go out and about.
Then lay your groundwork in a different way.
Changes like these are often needed to make a point, to bring a story to its best and strongest form.
And there’s not a wrong way to do it. All three ways to see “School Reunion” are valid and all three give something to the story.
So if your person goes to Place B first when originally they went to Place A there’s nothing wrong with that.
Another good example is Midnight out of the All The Petty Myths anthology. I had to come at that story’s ending from so many different angles. The location changed several times, dialogue came and went, tension built in different ways…
You get the idea.
Stuck on a story?
The problem might honestly be that you need to change how you tell the story. Don’t be afraid to do that.
Your story will thank you.