Do you see beauty, work,
or money?
When I was young and got a chance to visit my uncle’s farm, my cuz and I would run through the trees and sneak into the wheat fields. We weren’t supposed to run in the wheat and would often leave itchy, which added to the thrill of it because we couldn't tell anyone why we were itchy. To me, the wheat smelt like giggles and it was the happiest place on earth. Still not sure why I thought that, but if giggles smelt, they’d smell fresh and exciting like wheat.
I’m much older now and know better than to run through a wheat field giggling. (As tempting as it is.) Yet, standing on the open prairies looking at the wheat around me gives me a peaceful feeling, like I can do anything. It’s my happy place. I see the entire world in that field. Its scent is welcoming, home, warm, and endless. If I pick just the right moment, it will be bathed in a gentle light and become magical.
I recently took a flight over the prairies and saw these wheat fields in a new light. Looking down, my world was very different. Cloudy, yet much bigger. Parts were broken into little patterns with defined parameters as if everything had a place I couldn’t see before. It looked harsh, demanding, and it left me with an empty feeling inside, like there was too much to do. I felt a sad hopeless rush overpower me, until I had to look away.
I’ve never been to space, but I’m told that the earth is round and my wheat field is but a speck in a sea of fields. I’m told my entire world is actually much more than what I see. I accept this even if I’ve never been that high. Not many have. This blind belief gives me hope that I am part of something I don’t have to understand, but that exist nonetheless.
Building characters takes this type of perspective. Each character in every book interacts in a unique way with their world. They need to be a part of it, tasting, smelling, and feeling the world. But! They also need to pull away from their world and be allowed to see it in a very different way. We do this by adding conflict and by changing their world. These changes force them to grow and evolve and make them real for the readers.
Through all this, the characters we build must have a blind belief that shadows them and influences their decisions. Faith.
How does this translate? What does it mean? 
In the end, we all see a wheat field, but it doesn’t leave us with the same reactions now does it? Heck, even just changing my view changed how I saw the field. It’s perspective that makes our characters as unique as us. It’s perspective that makes them grow. Best of all, it’s this perspective that makes the reader relate to them.

In Action
Here's a tiny clip from Finding Balance, that allows us to see how perspective changes our character:

I handled the pictures, but almost dropped the last one. My sister drew that? I showed Light the half-naked woman eating the heart out of a man who looked a little too much like me. “Do you have a name for her?” I asked Oracle while Light looked at it with me.

“That’s the devil if there ever was one. She’s sneaky. I see her with you in my dreams all the time. She’s your friend or something.” Oracle shrugged.

A friend? She was tearing my heart out. A wolf demon wouldn’t be easy to tame. If that was my demon, I’d learn her language. I’d find myself a wolf phasing power and live among them, learn how wolves lived. “No demon is going to eat me.” I crossed my arms a little ticked that these boys thought this about me.

“Is that what you see?” Light turned the picture for a better look. “If you ask me, this beautiful woman is giving you back your heart. See here, how she’s fighting the demon that has her in its clutches. That’s a real powerful gal.”

I yanked the picture away from him and rolled it up while glaring. I was afraid he might be right and it was months before I brought myself to face that picture again because honestly, that was worse. A demon I could handle, a woman fighting demons for me meant commitment I wasn’t sure I deserved. -Finding Balance

Giving the reader the first image was crucial, since this is what our MC sees and feels. This is his view of things and how he needs to sees things playing out. Then we give him a new perspective and force him to believe something else might be out there, something he can't understand. When he pauses to reevaluate how he's seeing things, so does the reader. Gee, maybe Light is right and she isn't ripping out his heart but giving it back. What does this mean? The message is very different, not only for him, but for the reader and in this moment, we learn the truth; he thinks he's unworthy of love. Huh.

Perspective. It puts a nice spin on our character development, and man, is it ever fun to do!
How do you use perspective? Have you noticed your perspective change lately?

Oh and here are the links I enjoyed while researching for this post, of course these guys don't see things like I do. But really, who does?
Writing Exercise-Practicing Perspective
The definition of perspective

Irrational Fear

My irrational fear?
Spiders on my bathroom ceiling.

It even freaks me out a little just thinking that. Always has. Why, I mean why would a spider be in my bathroom????

As with all irrational fears, it makes sense to me. Spiders in any other setting are neat. On my bathroom ceiling-- not cool. I'm in a vulnerable place where I'm focused and busy. Naked in the shower, pants around the ankles on the toilet, dangerous string between my gums... the list of my vulnerability is endless. I need to know I'm safe in my bathroom and creatures who attempt to defy gravity freak me out a little. What if they fell on me?

You see where I'm going with this, right?

groggy trip to the bathroom
slight movement on my right shoulder

Now I am fully awake screaming at a HUGE GREEN SPIDER on my right shoulder. (Please note that huge is not tarantula size-- we don't do kickass big spiders like that in Saskatchewan-- and I can see my cuz from Mexico rolling his eyes at me that it was just tiny and required no broom at all- apparently that is how he judges their size. And just for the record, if I ever saw a spider that required a broom for me to defend against I would move.)

Regardless, to me it was a monstrous hybrid-spider that was bred on the prairies. A result of too many field chemicals and fresh air. I looked it up, but I was probably the first person alive to ever see a spider like this.  Or maybe, just maybe everyone is actually only concerned with the big ones that require a broom to defend against (I can't imagine a spider that freakishly big.)

This one had a fat round belly like the spiders we find on our wood piles only its big belly was dark green. Its legs were this cool light cream colour. Colour wise it was unique. Never seen one that shade before or even that combo of shades. I got thinking that maybe they only come out at night. We had one something like it only grey on our siding by the front door at one time and it only came out at night. When you'd go outside to check out the stars it would be looking at you all happy with life. Which is fine, spiders belong outside. Not on my right shoulder, at 3am, while I'm on the toilet.  

Its belly was about the size of a dime. Big enough for me to grab onto (which thoroughly freaked me out.) Over all-- now that I'm safely tucked into my bed-- it was a a cool spider.

Where did it come from? By this I mean exactly how did it get on my right shoulder, at 3am, while I was on the toilet? Did it come with me from my bed? (okay we're going to rule that out right now because that will just create a new irrational fear that means I might never sleep again.)

So did it crawl off my toilet paper roll on to my shoulder? No. It was facing up as if it crawled out of my tangtop and was not headed down it. (THANK YOU GOD.) It looked ready to run but was somewhat stunned. (Yes, I caught all that in the moment we looked at each other and we screamed-- do spiders scream? I think this one might have.)

My only explanation is that my lifelong irrational fear came true. It fell from the ceiling (which in my groggy state I might have forgotten to check for spiders before entering and I promise you will never ever happen again) and landed on my shoulder. Does this mean my fear is no longer irrational? Hmmm. I liked it better when it was irrational and not actually a possibility.

As I was thinking about this in my bed, the air conditioner made a slight click that sent me to the ceiling and ended up with me pasted against superman. He of course woke up (finally!) and so I had to tell him my tale.
"Where did it come from?" I asked him so innocently.
He of course answered in the only way he knows-- with the bold honest truth, "They come from the basement." 
I meant how did it get on my shoulder but now all I can focus on is THEY. Should I be expecting a colony (or is that a cluster?) of these uglies? How does one prepare? Part of the fear is the unknown, they always take you off guard. And until that point, I assumed it came originally from outside. Anything green comes from grass, leaves, trees, not my basement. Geepers creepers. Are they breeding down there? What the heck does he mean they come from the basement? That can't be right.

I survived. It did nothing. I felt it right away. It was a cool tiny (no broom was required after all) ordinary spider. So why the heck am I still freaked out?

What is your irrational fear and how do you overcome it when it suddenly ain't so irrational?