by Joshua J. Master @ JoshuaJMasters
Although I have buried a Christian fantasy novel in the depths of my imagination and cry out of the dungeon of my mind to fly on dragon wings, I am primarily a nonfiction author. So I had problems writing POVs (Learning Point of View), especially Deep POV.
It is an important skill to learn, but if we want our writing to make a difference, there is a POV that is even more important than that of our character and deeper than a clever scene setting that we need to master. Our writing can only be sustainable if we are willing to evaluate ours have View and where it comes from.
Recent events in our culture highlighted this concept when our nation faced difficult days of suffering with a life-changing pandemic, racist unrest, and political turmoil. Did you notice that many of the people you know have very different views on these issues? You probably have since many of them have made their point of view known.
People shout their opinions through worn out keyboards with rash and unedited thoughts – many of which have to be edited both in their setting and in their grammar.
Your goal is to impose a view on the reader instead of understanding it.
I point out not to make a political statement, but to illustrate how our personal point of view can disguise the sincerity of our craft.
The agenda always empties sincerity.
The way we respond to each situation depends heavily on our experience and past injuries. Our personal POV develops from our pain and fears. POV could stand for Pain on View, which makes it practically impossible for us to see someone else’s point of view if we are not actively looking for him. Our POV is deeply rooted and unshakable without practice and training.
How does this affect our writing? Well, we tend to believe that everyone has (or should have) the same point of view that we represent, so we write from this perspective. But they have not had the same experiences or injuries that we have experienced. Everyone sees the world through a broken lens, but our lenses were created and broken differently, so we never see a situation the same way.
When our letter is informed by a single POV, it becomes boring and uncolored. Every character at its core will be the same. Even worse, our writing will be less universally appealing because we unwittingly exclude others from identifying with what we have written.
This does not mean that we write to please everyone, but that we try to understand others when we write. This requires that we study and even question our preconceived notions, agendas and feelings that make up our point of view.
Without studying our thoughts and feelings, we surrender to them blindly and never realize that we are becoming a slave to our own experiences.
When we write historical fiction, we explore time.
When we write legal thrillers, we research the law.
When we write convenient secrets, we explore our changes in action.
When we write Bible studies, we research Scripture.
But everything falls flat if we don’t want to test:
Our own forms of legalism,
Our own thinking that has arisen from the twists and turns in our lives
And our own place in God’s Word.
Are we ready to examine our own POV and work towards a better understanding of others to enrich our writing? Because that drives the writing from an agenda-based activity to a culture-changing art.
Writing that hits the hearts of many requires understanding by many.
May we challenge ourselves and each other to examine our own point of view, to heal from our past injuries and to write with a purpose that is greater than our own feelings.
The most important POV for a writer – @JoshuaJMasters on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)
Joshua J. Masters is a pastor, author and speaker. He has been featured on CBN television, HIS radio, and the Light Radio Network. Josh is the author of American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot and is a contributing author for Feed your soul, Update the Bible Study Magazine, and A Christian voice. Josh also worked as an actor and crew member in the film industry (SAG / AFTRA) and still has a passion for film. He lives with his wife Gina and Franklin the Pup outside of Greenville, South Carolina, where he works as a pastor for speech and care.
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