Contributed by writer-author D. Jean Quarles
Recently I spoke to a friend about paying attention. We were talking about being observant in relationship to her home and neighborhood, but how much do we as writers also need to slow down to ‘get it right’?
Here are some points to ponder:
Details: You’ve probably heard the adage, ‘it’s all in the details.’ And I agree. When reading another’s work, it’s the details that suck me in and take me on the journey with the author. When we as writers slow down and pay attention, adding those small details makes our writing that much more impactful.
Sensations: To get the details right, focus on smell, taste, and hearing as well as what you see. We have more than one sense, yet many times we forget that. Creating scenes where more than one sense is used gives a roundness to our writing that elicits connection.
Remember when: You were a child and the simplest things delighted you? The sound of crickets? The smell of wood smoke? The way the butterfly flits from one flower to the next? These simple things that once delighted you, can pull your reader back to a similar time and place and delight them.
Dialog: How we talk to each other in real life is, many times, not at all how we think we talk to each other. Often in my conversations with family and friends we are finishing others thoughts, interrupting, getting it wrong, or getting it right, but still not necessarily listening well and responding appropriately. Dialog creates conflict, and also creates connections between your characters. Slow down and listen to conversations. Pay attention to how people really communicate with each other.
Find your metaphors: Metaphors add so much to your writing, but sitting in a room in front of the computer may not be the best place in which to develop them. Instead, pay attention to the detail you are trying to convey in a different way and use those same senses above to find a connection that fits.
In this world that seems so much about hurry, hurry, hurry, it may not be easy to make the switch to slow down, listen, and feel, but your writing will be enhanced and your readers will appreciate the effort.
About the Author
D. Jean Quarles wife, mother, grandmother, and business coach, as well as a writer of Women’s Fiction and co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. She loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky’s Mountains, Fire in the Hole, and Perception, and the co-author of The Exodus Series: The Water Planet: Book 1 and House of Glass: Book 2.
You can learn more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing, and her books at her website at www.djeanquarles.com. You can also follow her on Facebook.
This article was first published at: https://www.writersonthemove.com/2016/07/writing-world-around-you.html
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