on Thursday, August 28, 2014
    So I was flipping through pages of prompts in my new favorite book, 642 Things to Write About, when I found this prompt.

    And this got me thinking.  I was thinking of rehashing old high school drama to tell a story about how I thought someone else was the villain, when they thought I was the villain.  We don't normally view ourselves as a villain, because in our lives we are the protagonist working hard to overcome obstacles to get to our goals. However, in someone else's story we may be the antagonist or obstacle in the way of their goals.  
    It's really hard to view ourselves from someone else's perspective.  As writers, it is our jobs to view all our characters from all the different perspectives we can.  In Rose, the protagonists are Rose and Phillippe, with Mallorie as the villain.  However, then there's this quote that makes me wonder about things a little deeper.

    With this quote, then all the characters from Rose are protagonists and antagonists.  Mallorie views things as if she is the protagonist and Rose and Phillippe are the antagonists.  This also means the Vi is the protagonist while Phillippe (and her parents) are antagonists.  Dai doesn't really have any antagonists, she just really wants everyone to get along.  This can also bring up a point that from Rose's viewpoint, her aunts are antagonists because they are trying to prevent her from her goal of meeting new people and making friends.  It's an interesting thought, right?  Could you imagine how different the world would be if people viewed themselves as others view them?
    My high school years would be very different if I could have seen the way other people saw me.  I would have acted very differently.  
    Anyway, relating back to Rose, it brings up an interesting thought when it comes to one character in particular - Vi.  The reader has been given two drastically different views of Vi.  They have seen the way Phillippe views her and the way she treats him, and they have seen the way she and Rose interact.  Those are two almost completely opposite views.  In Rose's eyes, Vi could do no wrong, but in Phillippe's eyes she can't do anything right.  How does the reader know what to think about her?  During the climax, the reader's internal battle of how to view Vi only gets worse.  Just wait.
    So with that, I have set a goal for myself.  I am going to write two short stories, with the same two characters and the same dialogue, but from the differing perspectives of the two characters.  In each story, one will be the protagonist with the other as the antagonist.  It's up to you readers to decide which is really the hero, and which is really the villain.  I'd also like to challenge any readers to try this writing exercise and either write a short story where they are the villain, or the differing perspectives challenge.  I will work on this today, and hopefully post them tomorrow.


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