Here you go. Write a story (or a paragraph) in the first person omniscient point of view.
You must be kidding. My brain is cringing in my skull. As a meager blogger, I’m rusted solid regarding point of view. I’ll pass on this challenge. I’m on vacation and desperately need to focus on relaxing. What the hell am I doing with my head stuck in my laptop!!
Standing in the kitchen late at night, unable to sleep because of the guilt and disappointment I know I’ll carry throughout eternity, I look at the world, especially – nay, specifically – its human component, and think to myself, “Great Me almighty, if I’m so terrific, why didn’t I see this coming In The Beginning?”
I’d like to see that kitchen! Formica or granite? Hot herbal tea or single malt scotch? Poor celestial being–s/he’s having a bad night.
It took awhile to accept the fact that I simply wasn’t meant to stay in the world of corporate mergers, worrying myself sick about my job every time the company morphed into a new version of itself. My conscience argued with me often and vigorously about the definitions of success and achievement. But in the end, I believe I won those arguments. It’s true that dust sometimes accumulates on the top of my refrigerator because I’m compelled to finish an essay or a painting instead of ritually cleaning and scrubbing everything in sight. And it’s true that because I no longer earn as high a salary as I once did, we consider replacing our ancient vehicle with another not quite so ancient model rather than a brand new one. These sacrifices are the price of contentment. And they’re worth it.
I’m as rusty as Shaddy. So I have to ask, does this one qualify?
It’s different than my thought, but viva la difference!
This is a little bit long, but my effort to develop the first person omniscient point of view took on a life of its own.
Even so, like Barbara, I am not sure I really got it. FigMince is so cleverly concise!
Lunching on the Café Méditerranéen terrace under the gently crisp light of the mellow autumn sun is a delightful break from the assaultingly bright fluorescent cube field where I spend my days. After a couple of weeks of brown bagging it at my desk, I am looking forward to treating myself. The gorgeous weather has filled almost every al fresco table–excellent. Purposefully arriving at 12:45 p.m., I plan to optimize my selections.
Over in the corner, Barbara and Susan ordered salads. Barbara claims to have ordered the Salad Primavera because she had steak and a baked potato for dinner last night. The truth of the matter is that she thinks a salad is less fattening than anything else on the menu. On the other hand, Susan would rather have ordered the hamburger and French fries; however, she opted for a salad, too. She is always too self-conscious to do otherwise when lunching with Barbara, who always talks in great details about calorie counts, fat grams, and the latest nutritional findings. Behind her attentive smile, Susan chuckles to herself that Barbara does not realize salads are often the most caloric options. Barbara is fussing (panicking inside) because Mario, the waiter, forgot to bring her salad dressing on the side. Susan, accustomed to her dear friend’s fuss, is bored with her Chicken Caesar Salad after the first three bites but is reassured by knowing she has a Snickers bar in her desk drawer for later.
The table with folks from a bank’s marketing team provide a great sampling; everyone ordered something different. George says the hamburger (secretly eyed by Susan) is every bit as good as those he grills at home–and he is disappointed to mean it. Don boasts that the fettuccine reminds him of the pasta he ate on his honeymoon in Florence, Italy, a few years ago. Truth to tell, he never had fettuccine in Italy, but he thinks it makes for better conversation. Doris asserts that the chicken salad panini is a classic. What she does not share is that she wishes it were a regular sandwich made with good old-fashioned mayonnaise instead of aioli.
A bad sign is the huddle of waitpersons just inside the door. Mario, the head waiter, is angry with Fernando, the newest, youngest waiter. Fernando is receiving the most customer requests because he is so charming, outgoing, and attentive. Not surprisingly, he is also taking home the heftiest tips. Mario has always been the top waiter and feels threatened. He is sabotaging everything on Fernando’s trays; he hopes Fernando will be fired very soon. Obsessed by trying to bring down the young upstart, Mario is forgetting his understated attention to service that made him head waiter in the first place. The others think Mario will be the first one fired. Good thing I am in Shelley’s station. Mario is not threatened by female waitpersons.
A month ago when I bought a rare early edition of an Alexandre Dumas novel featuring Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, the 18th century Italian rumored to be psychic, little did I know the purchase would change my life. One whiff of the dust that puffed out from between the brittle pages was all it took for me to inherit the Count’s gift–or his curse.
Maybe I ought to head over to the terrace at Terra Mare instead.
I knew what the outcome would be, but I had to send him anyway, too much was at stake. Mike and Gabe try to tell me that they aren’t worth it, but I just love them so. I saw that they had no way out, they couldn’t do it themselves, only he could help, so I sent him. I watched as they beat him and spit on him. Mike and Gabe begged to let them and the boys to go help him, but I couldn’t let them. All I could be was watch and feel helpless. I heard them mock and laugh at him, then slowly executed him. I listened to him plead for them, that I would forgive them. I watched as long as I could and then turned my back to him. He pleaded for me not to leave him alone but my anger was rising and I didn’t want him to die in vain. Then he breathed his last. The murderers are now healed, if they choose to be. The earth is at peace for the moment. It is the seventh day, time to rest
It took me two readings, but it was worth the reread!
First Person Omniscient Point of View
I sit behind Ann’s eyes, chuckling. She may have a limited point of view, but I certainly don’t. I know all, see all—I even made it all. So while she’s typing out these lines, one letter at a time, I’m lurking, unseen, dictating and yanking her chain. She thinks she’s the one making decisions, and in a way she is, but where would she be without the possibility of my omniscience? Who would come up with all these possibilities?
You know that moment, when you’re in the middle of the plot and your character can take path A, path B or even path C, D, or Z? Who first supplies the chess-game avenues of possibilities that crop up? Who then decides which way to go? I do. I poke Ann’s brain cells to make ideas come out. I remind her to sit up straighter so her back doesn’t hurt. I send that burn to her eyes to remind her that at some point, yes, she does have to go to bed. She doesn’t like to listen to me, but that stubbornness is me too. Heck, I’m even the keyboard and the gum wrapper.
But I have to admit it is annoying to be squished down to human perceptions just to be noticed. Of course, humans are a bit myopic. If they could only see me through a dolphin’s eyes, they’d be surprised. Imagine how I look if you’re a red leaf? Or a paper clip. Or a black hole.
I have to admit that writers do tax me to distraction at times. Just imagine how I roll my eyes at such human creations as commas. Who knew I’d have to submit to punctuation rules to be understood. It’s one thing to be pictured as a white guy in a draped robe and a wild beard. It’s another thing to be told to stop using ellipses all the time. I can certainly understand why human beings had to posit a devil to make their world view complete. But of course, he is me too. Okay, so I’m also an exclamation point.
Getting back to fiction, I have to say that hanging out behind a fiction writer’s eyes is fun. It reminds me of the beginning, when all choices remained to be decided. Everything was on the table. It’s only when form and content appear that I start to chafe beneath limitations. While writers love to capture the words to express exactly what they mean, I feel constrained. I go kick around a few event horizons and poke a few worm holes into space/time. Nobody bothers me when I’m in a mood. I might give out with a big bang. That gives me a chuckle. Humans may uncomfortable with infinite possibilities, but I, for one, find them a warm bath.
But I’ll be in touch with all you writers. After all, I can easily be all places at once, be all characters at once. Just call me John-and-Martha if Omniscient Being doesn’t suit.
Hey very nice blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds
Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
You are commenting using your WordPress.com account.
( Log Out /
You are commenting using your Google account.
( Log Out /
You are commenting using your Twitter account.
( Log Out /
You are commenting using your Facebook account.
( Log Out /
Connecting to %s
Notify me of new comments via email.
Notify me of new posts via email.
by Ann Linquist
Available in paperback or on Kindle