Thursday, April 17, 2014
Observation: A Writer’s Tool
Nurturing our observational skills will open up our world, sharpen our minds, and inject honesty into our writing. When we start to pay attention to the details, our work begins to shine. For example, it becomes easier to show rather than tell our characters’ emotions when we have a clear understanding of the way those emotions can manifest.
I love this quote from Sean Patrick, the author of a short biography on Nikola Tesla: “The more material you’re exposed to in the world, the more grist you’ll have for your imagination mill.”
Observation feeds imagination. Imagination fires up our stories.
Observation is a skill like any other. It needs to be practiced. It requires slowing down, putting away distractions for a while, turning your focus outward. Hone in to all your senses, not just sight. Pay attention to random sounds, the scent on a breeze, the body language of a person walking by. Learn to listen to not only what is said, but everything that’s left unsaid.
While daydreaming is important to a writer, observation is crucial.
How do you practice observation?
Here at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, we are taking part in the April A-Z Challenge. We are posting short writing tips Mondays to Saturdays corresponding to the letter of the alphabet. If you’d like to see the list of participants, click HERE.
The IWSG Facebook Group during the A-Z: If you are taking part in the A-Z Challenge and are a member of the IWSG Facebook group, then we'd love you to share your A-Z post for that day in the provided thread. We just ask you don’t link any A-Z posts outside the threads provided. Looking forward to seeing you there.
Lynda R Young