otis haschemeyer

POV and Imagination

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Point of View in writing should work like POV in life. Therefore, POV characters see in front of them and sometimes at the periphery. They hear all around them but for a limited distance—longer over water, muffled through walls. They smell things similarly, but it depends on which way the wind blows. They can feel the texture of things they touch and not things they don’t touch. They taste things that touch their tongues. These perceptions may trigger a response in the body as feelings—an accelerated heart rate or the dilation of the pupils, or in thoughts. One sense may trigger the imagination of another, but this is thought, not sensory perception, though their mouths might water. Point of View characters, when treated honestly, experience the world just as we do. They can’t see around corners and can’t know other people’s thoughts. They can speculate, analyze, hypothesize…

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