I live in a doggie neighborhood and almost daily run into one or more of my neighbors and their four-legged companions. One of the things I’ve come to appreciate about this is that I get to hear the same story from many different perspectives. Yes, it’s also a gossipy neighborhood.
It reminds me of something Madeline L’Engle apparently used as a teaching tool with her students to determine perspective in a story.
She would have her students take a story they had just written and tell them to totally rewrite it, using the same events, but from the point of view of the antagonist instead of the protagonist. Not an easy thing to do, especially if you’re fond of your protagonist and think he/she is right and the other character is wrong.
It was something a writing teacher taught her many years ago and though it made her angry to have to do that when her teacher first told her to, she learned the value of seeing the other side of the story. She learned that by seeing the other side her story could have more depth as it incorporated a bigger picture and greater understanding of perceptions and consequences.
This is what I’m learning as I sift through the stories of various neighbors. And I find it is helping me in my writing.
Another way animals enrich our lives!