Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Sense of Wonder

I know that not a few of you are living in places where you are enjoying - perhaps for the first time - snow on the ground. I know, I've seen the pictures you've posted on websites and blogs and loops and youtube. It's quite amazing. Some of you have said that your children have never seen snow, and so a day off from school to enjoy it is quite in order.

I imagine it would be like me waking up one morning here in Canada, and looking out to see a palm tree growing in my front lawn. The whole neighborhood would be out taking pictures. (The only time I see palm trees is when I go away somewhere - and I'm usually amazed and feel compelled to take pictures!)

Everybody takes pictures of these anomalies and posts them online, but we writers do something else with these experiences - we imagine. We add story to them. We ask 'What if?" On another loop I frequent, one author suggested that with the snow she is now experiencing for the first time, it might be a good place to 'hide' something in her mystery - a body, a knife, a gun. (Now, we who live in the land of snow shake our heads. We know better. Snow is the policeman's friend. Snow is a wonderful medium for footprints!)

These are the thoughts of a writer. It's going beyond the obvious and asking the 'what if' questions. It's looking at the less obvious solutions. A number of years ago when I was 'stuck', a writer friend of mine suggested I go to the mall, and walk around pretending I was my main character. Where would my heroine shop? What stores would she go into? They might be very different than the stores I frequent. What racks of clothing would she go through? What size? What cosmetics would she buy? Where would she buy her coffee? Starbucks or Tim Hortons?

Another exercise is to sit down with a clean j0urnal book and start writing entries from the pov of your hero or heroine. Make things up.

I guess what I want to say is to stay in that sense of wonder - the same sense of wonder that many of you woke up to a few days ago and saw snow for the first time!


Ramona Richards said...

Linda, that's great advice. I just started a new project and I feel that "wonder" - which I haven't in a long time. I'm hoping this one has a WOW factor.

PamelaTracy said...

I love the idea of pretending to 'be' my heroine or journaling her thoughts, but how do you get the time?