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Camp Care Package #4: Get unstuck with a fresh POV.

Author Cass Morris is your Camp Counselor this week. Find all Camp Care Packages in Breaking News throughout the month of April, or learn more about Camp NaNoWriMo!

1) Try out a new POV.

When I get stuck on a story, I often try switching to a different point of view—a side character, or even introducing someone new to the plot, someone with a different background and personality than the characters whose heads I’ve been in.

This might not be material you end up using, especially if you’re writing a single or limited POV story, but just getting into another brain for a bit can help to shake things loose. The new perspective might help you figure out what wasn’t working before!

It’s also a great reminder that every character is the hero of their own story, even if they’re the villain or sidekick in someone else’s. Spending some time in their heads can help you create a full cast of characters with real emotional honesty.

Writing Dare: Spend 10-15 minutes writing a scene (either a new one or one you've already written) from a different character's point of view. 

2) Be a people watcher.

Other people are a fantastic resource. When you’re out in the world, listen to the stories they tell, even in the smallest snippets. I was at a store last week with a bubbly manager who confessed she was worried her lipstick was starting to flake, because the area rep was coming in and she didn’t want to look like she didn’t have her act together. I got all that information in the time it took to check out! And it’s a great character detail—a window into her life, what she considers important, and how her anxiety manifests.

Watch and listen, wherever you are. Every interaction is an opportunity to spice your writing with details to make your characters come alive.

Writing Dare: Spend some time being a spy (well, a writer-spy). Go to a spot you can people watch (even if that's your own kitchen) and take notes on what you hear and see, especially small, unique details.

author photo

Cass Morris works as a writer and educator in central Virginia, and she occasionally moonlights as a bookseller in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, and she earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a minor in history, from the College of William and Mary in 2007. She reads voraciously, wears corsets voluntarily, and will beat you at MarioKart. Her debut novel, From Unseen Fire: Book One of the Aven Cycle, is a Roman-flavored historical fantasy released by DAW Books.

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