I was reminded of the value of perspective recently. A few weeks ago I went snowshoeing with a friend, and during our little adventure I snapped the above photograph. The vision left me pondering as the branches only formed the shape of a heart from one particular angle. If I moved even one inch in either direction, it completely disappeared. I’d actually snowshoed passed this spot three previous times before seeing the familiar shape in the branches.
Photo credit: Helene Anne Fortin
I think of this heart in the same way I think of character development. While preparing to write my second novel, I’m forming a visual of the key players knowing that each one will need to be as elusive as the vision in the snow. Average people that you’d likely walk past several times without noticing. People for whom, if we shifted our perspective, could display a vision of beauty and complexity. Real people. People with heart.
Of course, we could stand to take the same approach to real life characters as well. We all have hidden visions of beauty in our branches. Shifting our focus can prove to enlighten and inspire.