Writing 101: Point of View

a-walk-in-the-park

A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.

Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

A man and a woman are walking through the park holding hands. It’s a beautiful autumn day, the sun is shining and it’s just warm enough to be comfortable. The leaves are starting to change colors and the smell of autumn reminds the man of childhood days playing with friends in the forest near their houses.

The warmth of the woman’s hand feels so good in his hand. Could he have finally found someone to restart his life with? It seems too good to be true. She seems to understand him and accept him as he is. Maybe it’s time to talk about making the next step in their relationship. No need to put pressure on her but what is she thinking? Should they move in together? Or consider marriage?

Such a gorgeous day! Up ahead an old lady is also enjoying the sun on a park bench and using her time to knit something red. Just as they pass in front of her she holds up her work. It’s a small sweater for a two or three year old. The man tenses up and is squeezing the woman’s hand without realizing. He’s fighting back the tears but they are soon rolling down his cheeks. When his wife and daughter died in that traffic accident his daughter was a bit more than two. The sweater that old woman was knitting would have looked so good on her.

He’s going to have to sit and calm down before going on. They can stop at the next park bench. He feels so fortunate to have met this woman who is so understanding.

———-

A man and a woman are walking through the park holding hands. It’s a beautiful autumn day, the sun is shining and it’s just warm enough to be comfortable. The leaves are starting to change colors and she knows that he loves autumn but she finds it sad. Everything is dying. Spring is her season, new life, flowers blooming, leaves opening.

She had hoped that this was the beginning of a relationship that might lead to something deeper and stronger but she’s gone beyond doubts and is now wondering how to gently end it. At first she was drawn to him because of his sensitivity, something that most men don’t express. And when he first opened up about his first wife and his daughter dying in an accident, which he sees as his fault, he was sobbing in her arms. That was the beginning of her doubts.

As the path curves to right she sees a park bench a short distance away. An old woman is sitting there knitting. She looks happy to be out of the house. Then her thoughts go back to him. It’s been 12 years, he should have worked through the well-known five stages of mourning but he seemed trapped in one of them. She began to feel he wanted a mother more than a wife and that was not what she was looking for in a relationship.

He is a good listener, another point that she found attractive at first. But she discovered it is because he lives with pain and regret which he keeps bottled up and doesn’t want to express. They’ve been walking in the park for 15 or 20 minutes and he’s said almost nothing.

As they reach the park bench and the old lady holds up her knitting to examine it. It’s small sweater. She must be a grandmother knitting for her grandchild. She’s surely a happy grandmother, or a great-grandmother considering her age, who spends a lot of happy moments with her family.

Suddenly his grip tightens on her hand. She looks over and sees the tears filling his eyes and starting to spill over. He is carrying his dead daughter everywhere he goes; even a knitted sweater sets him off. She can’t go on like this. Maybe they should sit down on the next bench and end it now.

———-

She sees a man and a woman walking through the park holding hands. That’s nice, these days not so many people hold hands. It’s a beautiful autumn day, the sun is shining and it’s just warm enough to be comfortable. The leaves are starting to change colors and she appreciates this day because at her age she doesn’t know how many she has left. She’s sitting on the bench knitting a little red sweater for her friend’s grandson. Her friend is so lucky to have such wonderful children. One of them lives about 30 minutes away and comes at least once a week to visit. The two other children live two to three hours away but they try to come once a month. It’s heartwarming to see a family that really seems to be connected. They seem to come because they want to, not because they have to. The son who lives three hours away will be coming this weekend, with his four children and the youngest is two, and she wants to finish the red sweater for his visit.

She never married and has no family of her own but she enjoys knitting things for her friend’s grandchildren as they invite her to join in their family gatherings. It is as if they adopted her and it’s so nice to feel wanted. She holds up the sweater to see how it’s looking and is pleased with her work. She should start heading back to the retirement home soon.

As the couple pass in front of her she sees that man is in tears. That’s so sad. Maybe they’ve had bad news. But no, the woman doesn’t look sad, but her face does show disappointment. Oh dear, something is not right here. Maybe she just told him that she’s leaving him…

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