How do you like that title? How about this?
What is Perspective? Well it depends how you look at it. Ok, I will stop trying to be funny.
The important question is, “Why write what has already been written?”
Oxford Dictionaries estimates there are at least a quarter of a million words in the English language. If we were only talking about numbers, there would be an unlimited amount of ways to arrange them. Words have to form sentences, though, and those sentences have to make sense. That requirement cuts the possible combinations way down. It’s still a large number, but not unimaginable.
My point is; there is a limited number of ways to write a sentence, or story. You finish writing a wonderful sounding, finely constructed passage. You look at your work and say, “No one has written this way before.” But in reality, they probably have, or at least very closely. Or, maybe you come up with a wonderful story line, only to discover that someone has beat you to it.
So what does this mean? Should we stop writing? Is there a race to use up all of the possible combinations of sentences? The answer is, No. The numbers are staggering, and near infinity.
There will probably never be a shortage of unique sentence combinations, but story lines are limited. I mean, how many different things can you make a vampire do?
You can sit for hours, worrying about your story and how it’s similar to another, or you can write what you feel. I say write the story you want and make it your own. But, if story lines are limited, what will make your story unique? Your perspective will.
A man runs down the street, is caught by the police, arrested, and taken to jail. A group of witnesses see the same event, but tell differing stories. It happens all the time.
“The policeman was too rough.”
“The man was violent.”
“There were ten cops, and they couldn’t catch him.”
“There were two policemen, and they caught him quickly.”
“There were cop cars everywhere.”
“I don’t know where all the cops came from.”
“The guy had a gun.”
“The man had a knife.”
“He was unarmed.”
“They threw him on the ground.”
“They pushed him across the hood of a car.”
“He fought with the police.”
“The police jerked him around.”
“The man yelled obscenities.”
“The poor guy called for his mother.”
Why is this? Each of these people saw the same thing, but each could write a different story. People see things in their own way. We each have a perspective, and it usually differs from everyone else.
Take your viewpoint and write your story the way you see it in your head. While we want to avoid sounding like another author, and by all means, plagiarism, don’t avoid a story line simply because it’s been done before. You can ‘unique’ your way into ‘not writing at all’ if you are not careful.
Give me your perspective of this.
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