Treat the Eye: Improve Your Observation Techniques
We use our sight every day but often only see the common place: trees, roads, houses, children, dogs. If we are to see the world more clearly, we need to pay closer attention.
What kind of trees? What does the bark feel like? Are there cones or berries or blossoms?
Is the road newly paved or rutted? Are the while side lines worn? How about the center lines: did the painter keep them straight, leave any residue or streaks?
Are the houses row houses? two-story? brick? wood? well-maintained? in need of sprucing up?
Are the children playing on their way to school? coming home? riding bikes? wearing super hero capes?
Are the dogs sleeping under bushes? racing beside cars? barking at the children?
When we move beyond the obvious we create more personal scenes with more realistic settings that add to the complexity of the story we’re creating.
“She tended to stay on the fringe of things, observing from a distance, and she had noticed that what she observed was often outside the normal frame of vision.” Quote from When We Were Grownups by Ann Tyler, p. 59
Be observant. See what lies beyond most people’s view. Create a special quality that attracts readers. Staying on the fringe long enough to see new meaning remains the trick.