1. What is it?
Multiperspectivity is when a single event or person is described by different voices. This allows differing accounts of the same incident or character.
In fiction it is a tool to reveal more about characters and events. In history, it is a necessary tool in order to better understand an event or time.
It can also be called ‘polyperspectivity’.
2. How is it made?
|Make a character witness an event or give an opinion on a situation.||Switch the narrative perspective to another character. Make this second character witness the same event or give their opinion.|
|Have these alternative viewpoints create contrast or conflict, or reveal additional information.||Do not reveal all the information through one Character. Characters may also be unreliable.|
|A final perspective may contain a revelation.|
“How was your relationship with Malcolm Miller?”
“Malcolm Miller was a great man, in my view, and it pains me to be in this situation: here, now, talking about his death. I joined his company when I was 22, and I would not be the person I am without his help. He was a mentor, not only to me, but all the recruits.”
I found the letter in the bureau. The cream envelope was in Cathy’s handwriting. I missed her.
‘It is with sadness that I write this letter, but I must tell you the reason I left. That reason is Mr. Miller, a brute of a man. A bully to the women. A man who could not keep his hands to himself. I was only in the company for six months, and yet they are six months that will scar me for six years.’
To this date, I have had full confidence in Ms Smith. She has always been intelligent, punctual, and kind. However, I am not a student, and so before I begin to speak of this amazing, wonderful, dynamic teacher, it makes sense to print my 6-year old Adam’s perspective on his teacher.
Eventually he offered a little more.
“I like her clothes. But sometimes she shouts at Brian and Wendy because they are always talking in class. And some days she smells funny.”
I cannot comment on any of these, except to say I have never noticed Ms Smith’s smell.
Write two short scenes in which different characters give alternative perspectives on the same event.