The local power company had notified us in advance that the power would be out for an entire day (okay 6 hrs, but you get the idea). I was entirely put out, I couldn't stay home to work that day, I had to get my dog to her sitter so she wouldn't be alone in the house with the alarm going off every ten seconds, and I had to go out for lunch rather than make my meals at home. And because of the inconvenience, I also opted to order in pizza for a dinner. That night, I spoke with my husband, who is on an internship in Tanzania (Africa) via Skype.
I related my traumatic day to him ... and he simply nodded and smiled. When I asked him about HIS day, he said "Oh, it's been three days without power here." He said it as if it was completely normal and natural that this should occur. And indeed, it is the natural state of things where he is. But rather than being all frustrated with his situation, he had managed to come to terms with his situation and adopted the Tanzanian mantra "Hakuna Shida" (no worries).
This revelation brought to mind how important it is for writers to examine the perspective of each of their characters in their stories. How, for example, would a typical North American view taking a shower, as opposed to someone who has lived in Kenya? How would someone who has lived through poverty view the person who is throwing away a steak because it's slightly over done?
Perspective is important - and that character's perspective will shape how they interact with others and how they behave overall. In writing circles, this concept is sometimes called Point of View or POV.
I have found some amazing writers who have used alternating or varying POV effectively in their stories. One of my faves is Polly Horvath's The Corps of the Bare Boned Plane. I hope you'll share with me some of your favorite stories involving alternating or interesting use of changing POV.