Urban Fantasy Author
Book Bling Blog
THE POWER OF OBSERVATION – A WRITER’S TOOL
(Remember to watch for turkeys!)
Once again it took a comment from my husband to start me thinking about a topic for
this guest blog. He called me to the kitchen window this morning. “What do you
see out there?”
I looked out at the same scene I see every day – the north rough-plowed field, the line fence and the neighboring farm.
“Same old stuff.”
Since I knew there’d been lots of tracks behind our barn lately, I expected maybe a deer or two. Nope. No deer. I looked up, scanning the tree tops for the hawk that occasionally visits. No hawk. There were cardinals and doves at the feeder. “I don’t see anything out there but the birds.” “Look close to the fence, down low.” He pointed. I looked. Sure enough, moving along the fence, heads down and barely noticeable, three, good-sized turkeys quietly pecked their way across the field. We’ve never had wild turkeys in the fields, so their appearance was unusual and unexpected. If I’d glanced out the window prior to my hubby’s suggestion, I would’ve missed the surprise of watching those turkeys.
Shame on me for forgetting what I’d learned during the ten-week Citizen Police Academy course I took a few years prior. The excellent course offered by our local Police Department was a great learning experience for anyone, especially a writer. I was the oldest person in the class, but hey, I was there to learn, not to compare ages. Not only did we go through some of the same training as the actual recruits, we learned how to “see” more accurately what was happening around us, in the blink of an eye. The safety of all police officers depends on their power of observation, quick responses and the ability to make wise decisions in the event of a crisis. If you saw a robbery taking place, would you be an accurate witness?
Do you remember anything unusual about the scene? The robber? Did you check your watch to record the time? Notice if there were any accomplices? Any strange cars in the parking lot? Could you identify the accused in a line-up and feel positive you were correct? In the blink of an eye, so many things can take place around you. It takes a skilled observer to pick out those small, but significant things. It takes practice in your everyday life to become proficient.
Look around each time you go out. What do you see in the small perimeter around you? In the larger area beyond that? Was it there before today or is it new? Observe people, too. Train your mind to remember facial features, clothing, unusual characteristics. Are you close enough to hear the person speak? Voice is important, too. High pitched, gruff, a lisp - all these
are good identifying factors. Everything we learned could be used to polish our writing skills. In doing detailed research, writers who have learned to use their power of observation wisely will have a much richer story to keep their readers turning the pages. Adding bits of information about the story’s locale, the weather and its effect on the characters and their moods, sights and sounds and smells in the scene will heighten the reader’s interest and you’ll leave them eager to read your next book.
I’ll be working on increasing my power of observation from now on. You never can tell what you might miss in the blink of an eye. Wild turkeys might show up in my next book. At least, I’ll know what they look like.
Published romance author, Loralee Lillibridge, is a long-time fan of romance novels and a strong believer in the power of love.
Loralee grew up in Texas loving cowboys and rodeos, but relocated in Michigan after her marriage to a handsome Yankee who stole her heart.
She still favors country love songs, and seeing a field of Texas bluebonnets can make her cry, but she admits
the West Michigan lakeshore has a beauty all its own.
Even as a child, Loralee’s love of books, combined with a vivid imagination, fueled a desire to create her own stories with characters readers could care about. Her first attempt was a neighborhood play about a pirate who rescued a princess. (Original, yes?) Needless to say, the audience only consisted of her parents and the boy next door who reluctantly played the role of the pirate.
Now she enjoys writing emotionally fulfilling stories centered on the relationship of a
man and a woman and their often rocky road to love. Heart-warming stories of
ordinary people and extra-ordinary love.
She is also a founding member and past-president of the Mid-Michigan Chapter of RWA, a member of Published Authors Special Interest Chapter of RWA (PASIC) and Sisters in Crime. A native Texan, she and her husband make their home in West Michigan near their children and grandchildren.
This Texas flower credits her chapter and her wonderful critique partners for their unlimited support and encouragement on her roller-coaster ride to becoming a published romance author.
When not writing, Loralee enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, and
traveling. Visit Loralee at her Website or her Blog
4/9/2013 11:59:01 pm
Great observations, Loralee. Fun stuff. Thank you.
4/10/2013 08:15:29 am
thanks for stopping by, Margo.
4/10/2013 05:19:18 am
Thanks for stopping by, LL. It was a pleasure having you here.
4/10/2013 08:17:13 am
Elizabeth, thanks for inviting me here. I enjoyed the visit.
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