Whatnot, Writing 101: Class of 2014
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Short Assessments of the First Half of Attachments from Random Points of View

Halfway through Attachments

Writing 101 is specific today, but I am going to get away with this.

A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.

Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

This is exercise is about POVs, so instead of writing that scene, why not write about the book I’m currently reading? Why not imagine how different readers would perceive it?

From the POV of a reader who imagines vivid settings:

Two of the characters are in a newsroom. I’ve never seen a newsroom. What’s it like? Computers and cubicles and dirty keyboards? So it’s like our office then? Nothing special in it? And the male protagonist is stuck inside the paper’s IT room. He’s alone most of the time. Is it like a prison cell? That’s the vibe that I get. This is not LOTR but I feel that they are not at work. Well, they aren’t working, are they?

From the POV of a reader who ponders upon POVs:

The switches between the emails and the omniscient narrator is smooth. One cannot possibly lose the flow of the story. At the middle part, the alternation between the two POVs is disrupted to focus on the male protagonist, the star of the omniscient parts.

From the POV of a reader who digs dialogues:

The emails are rarely real conversations. They sound like letters sent to an advice column which are fed to a shredding machine after the columnist is done reading them. And please, a feature editor or a movie reviewer should not be caught using “as clear as a baby’s bottom,” not even in personal emails.

From the POV of a reader who likes fully fleshed out characters:

What are these? Cardboard cutouts?

From the POV of a reader who relates to characters:

  • Girls afraid of child-bearing: common and probably relatable. Particularly the modern woman who is always on the go.
  • Neglected girlfriend of a rock band guitarist: stereotype and relatable. Just change the guy’s job description to make it super relatable, but this would break away from the stereotype.
  • Shy IT guy who rummages through other people’s letters: common and very relatable. Guys can be worse gossip-mongers, and information is very accessible nowadays.

From the POV of a reader who revels in big plots:

Two girls gossip through emails. Guy reads them. Pass!

From the POV of a reader who sticks to simple yet substantial stories:

I like reading about the little things in everyday life. It is these that ultimately create The Big Picture. What is substantial is arbitrary though. The girls talk about their fears as far as their relationships are concerned. The guy can’t get over a past love and wonders how he will get through. How will their hopes and fears shape up?

From the POV of a reader who discusses themes:

  • Love before first sight. At 28. In 1999.
  • Teenage love. Growing pains.
  • The effects of unresolved teenage conflicts with a mother when the teenager is now a mother herself.
  • The factors affecting a relationship to sustain or destroy itself (children, quality time, jobs).

From the POV of a reader who searches for symbols:

  • The pregnancy test kit is a symbol for something positive about to happen in the novel.
  • The movie choices could also represent moods that are prevalent during that time (Eyes Wide Shut, Four Weddings and a Funeral). They could also just be merely accidental.
  • The guy’s going to the gym is symbolic of his coming out of the closet. Wasn’t he suspected as a gay man by his mother? Okay, this last one is a symbolic joke.

From the POV of a reader who has a blog named Book Rhapsody:

My cringe-meter is broken. I will have it repaired soon.

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