It’s hard to believe five months have passed since I left N.C. State on my Alternative Service Break to Belize. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since the trip began–the application process, the monthly team meetings, and all the fundraising… In the forefront of my summer plans and now in the background of my Resident Mentor training, Belize continues to be a prominent feature as I compile both a journal and a photo companion of my trip to send to those who helped me make it there in the first place.
Those are separate reflections, intimate monologues for the select few, but I promised and have been building an experience here for many months–and for just as many months, it’s been missing an important page: the final page.
Over the coming week, I’m going to close this chapter of the Writingwolf, taking you along from the moment our plane touched down to the cataclysmic changes I’ve experienced since it flew me back.
When I last left you, I was studying point of view–and our focus, if I recall correctly, was on the different points of view: first person, second person, and third person. The ocean became a character through three different lenses, and although certain strains of existence persisted through each of them, each was wholly unique.
This week I would normally proceed with the second exercise in “Method and Madness,” but I don’t like it. Take a topic that’s difficult to write about, it says, and use point of view as a way of breaking the surface–first write it as a personal account, then as an omniscient narration. It’s not a bad exercise, but I don’t think it teaches very much after the last lesson. We already know how changing person can change perspective–why repeat it again?
Instead, let’s look about how perspective can change a person.
Last week I wrapped up the chapter on show and tell–now I have a better feel for showing, telling, and being aware of when I know something that doesn’t quite make it to the reader. This next chapter covers the oft-feared topic of points of view.
It’s not just the way you see the story–it’s who’s telling it.
The past couple of days I’ve been at the beach with my man. It’s been heaven, but more it’s been the juxtaposition of land and sea. We’ve gone into the water and spent hours walking up and down the shore. It’s been relaxing, invigorating, tiring, peaceful, and brilliant. The wind has roared. The waves have crashed. And one thing is certain: the oceansong is amazing.