Point of View

How do you follow a discussion and exercise on location and dialogue? With one on point of view, of course.

Point of view is definitely one of the most important parts of a story, movie, poem, painting, photograph… you name it.

You can be told the point of view and then be able to make judgements about the character and events based upon your preconceived ideas.

You can be left in the dark on the POV until you figure it out for yourself, letting you question each and every thing that happens, and leading you down more dead ends than open paths until it finally *clicks* and you’re then fully immersed.

And then there is the popular shifting POV. This is done a lot in movies, but usually amounts there to no more than the camera angle changing. But in a written work, it can change the language, the motivations, the dialogue, what the character sees and hear – everything.

The final week’s assignment for Craft of Character was to write a 500-word scene in the first person and then to immediately write it again from the omniscient view, but without looking back at the first version.

I had a lot of fun with this exercise. Though I churned out my 1000 words in about 30 minutes or less, I think this would be an exercise worth revisiting later, even if just for fun.

Now this week I start Craft of Setting and Description, so watch for my exercise posts starting early next week.

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FIRST PERSON:

I’m an asshole. This is not debated. I know it, so I assume, does everyone else.

The thing is, I’m not sure if I’m an asshole and that is why I don’t have a love in my life, or if being an asshole is an excuse not to have someone in my life.

The beauty of being an asshole is that I don’t care what the answer it.

And that brings me to The Den – my favorite and oft-frequented titty bar.

Well, these days, they call them “Adult Clubs” as if that is supposed to hide what they are. They even charge exorbitant cover charges just to get in.

Luckily, I’m a regular.

“Hi, Lucky. Just you tonight?”

She smiled when she said it, but all I see is the swish of her ass in tight leather pants. She is the hostess almost every time I come, and I even think I remember her name sometimes, but it doesn’t matter in a place where no one has real names.

“Thanks, doll.” I wink and lightly brush my left hand on her ass as I pass her a twenty with my right. She barely seems to notice either as she gestures toward a dark corner she knows I like. It’s near the private rooms, but it’s so dark that it’s essentially private all by itself.

It doesn’t take long for Roman to approach the table. She is who I come for. Every time.

Pale as the full moon and skin as smooth as that microfiber cloth that came with my iMac to clean the screen, she is at least half my age, but sharp as a tack and bitter as dandelion greens.

“Feeling lucky?”

“You could be feelin’ Lucky,” I retort in our familiar banter.

Tonight, she is wearing a nighty getup that I think is called a “baby doll” but she looks far too sinister to ever be considered young. The crimson Rayon cloth seems to electrify her matching lipstick.

Roman’s eyes flash at me. They aren’t glassy and blank the way most of the girls’ eyes are, but deep and dark. They seem to swallow all the light that reaches them.

With Roman serving me, it’s not long before I’ve downed three whiskies just to keep her coming back to the table, and, of course, to watch her walk away again.

Dancers come up once or twice to try and entice me to a private lap dance, but I wave them away and they eventually stop coming, especially as I start slurring my responses.

It’s about then that hell breaks loose and I see someone in a ragged black hoodie equally jump and fall from the balcony above as he tries to escape some sort of argument or brawl.

Roman reacts by jumping to the side and against the booth I’m in. Without a thought, my left arm has wrapped around her loosely but protectively and my gun is in my right, ready for anything.

 

 

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OMNISCIENT VIEW:

Lucky walked into The Den, the strip club he frequented nearly every day of the week. As the hostess greeted him, she could practically feel his eyes staring at her ass, but that was the job and it got her a twenty-dollar tip – even if she did have to pretend she didn’t feel his hand brush against her when he passed the tip.

Lucky sat alone at a corner table. In a dark room, he somehow managed to stay in even deeper shadow. He would stay here as long as necessary to see her. And then he would stay as long as possible just to keep her delivering drinks to his table.

~

Despite the stereotypes about women working at a strip club, Roman hadn’t been abused as a child. She had been raped by someone she’d trusted, but that was after she was an adult and working at the club and the two didn’t even touch in her mind as having any possible relation.

She worked at The Den because it paid well – very well when tips were added in – and because she understood she had power and this was where she chose to use it.

During the day, on the streets of San Francisco, she was almost invisible. Usually a dark or grey sweatshirt with the hood up. She didn’t buy designer clothes but shopped mostly on sale racks and thrift stores. And she had a very small group of friends, since Michael had now made it nearly impossible for her to even trust her friends.

But, at The Den, she could be someone else. Someone in control. She knew how to swish when she walked and croon when she talked. Most of all, she knew how to make eye contact and pretend she was interested in every man – and woman – who she waited on.

Lucky was different. She knew he came to see her alone, because he ignored the dancers on stage and turned away the ones selling private dances. She didn’t have to use any power with him. No sway. No crooning voice or pouty lips. And yet, he came in almost every day, ordered over and over no matter how little attention she paid him, and tipped her highly and consistently.

~

In the balcony, a fight was stirring between the club’s owner – Tiger – and an old relation of hers. A former lover. A former friend.

The details didn’t matter to anyone except the two of them, and they had no idea what their actions were going to set in motion.

Such is the world where private events touch the moments of someone else’s life, but can ripple through that other life.

~

When the man equally jumped and fell from the balcony, it surprised the entire club. The music didn’t stop, but almost all other movement did.

The exception was Roman’s reflex caused her to step backward. She was passing Lucky’s table at the time and she fell back against his booth.

Lucky’s arm was around her, protecting her, before she could react. But what caught her attention was the gun he had in his other hand that was aimed at the sudden commotion, not at her.

How lucky this would be for her, she wouldn’t know for some time still.

 

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