Sunday, July 9, 2017

Are you observant?

We were walking through a thrift store the other day when Liam noticed a mirror near the floor. He had to crouch to get a good look. He gazed at himself from all angles.  Then he looked up in the mirror and noticed me. Surprised, he turned around and looked at me. 

Perspective and vantage point can change everything. If you write in first person, be sure your character sees what you are describing; the object has to be within his/her field of vision. 

Paw-paw saw a mama bird feeding its baby in our backyard. He lifted Liam onto the counter, and together they talked in hushed tones and observed the action going on.

Good writers are observant and pay attention to fine detail.When I taught school-age summer camp, I covered a window with a roll of paper and used a pencil to poke a few small observation holes at different heights.  The students had to report what they observed through the limited vision field. Although they were all looking outside at the street, they each had a different vantage point.
 Be descriptive; use your imagination. Think out of the box. Ask what if questions.


I recycled six empty water bottles to make a cascading waterfall. Here's the procedure: Remove lids, cut holes on one side of bottle so the water will pour from the mouth of one bottle into the side of the next and continue to run downhill. Hot glue the bottles to a board or card board, with the cut out section facing up (you can also zip tie to a backyard fence).

Next, cut a coffee filter into six sections. Hot glue one piece of filter inside each bottle. Pour water and watch the cascading rainbow. Water can be contained in small tub or pool and recycled or let it spill onto the grass. When the colors wash away, add more food coloring. Hours of fun!

By the way, without scrolling back up, can you describe the mirror Liam was looking into? What was on our kitchen counter besides Liam? Take a guess if you aren't sure, then take another look. If you click on the picture, you can enlarge and see.


Susan said...

Hi Linda. Leave it to the little one to do some exploring. Love how they look into mirrors, don't you? But oh, the handprints on the mirror in my downstairs bathroom make me smile. I'm always running around with a Windex bottle after the little one leaves. ha haha Hope you have a great week. Thanks for your visits. I appreciate them so much! Susan

Val said...

No fair! I didn't know there was going to be a quiz!

Let's see...I think that mirror was round, with a gold and white border. The counter...hmm...just Liam and Paw-Paw and the curtains come to mind. Now let's go back and see how bad a witness I would make at a crime scene.

Huh. I think the defense would probably call me as a witness before the prosecution. My testimony could be reasonably doubted.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Mirrors. Used to love them, now, not so much. When my second child started to crawl around my grandparents, who watched her while I was in Nursing school, went a little nuts and bought a bunch of mirrors and installed them right above the base board so she could watch her self crawl by. She was walking at 10 months. I wonder how that attention to her own self sculpted the person she became. Sad to say, but she is still the center of her own attention. Maybe she needed to pay more attention to her surroundings.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Linda--Thanks for the reminder about what to do when writing in first person. That's timely advice, because my WIP IS told in first person...

Liam gets cuter and cuter by the day. Paw Paw? Not so much.

K9friend said...

What fun! I love the water bottle idea.


Trisha Faye said...

Sending the water bottle idea to my niece, who works with children.

Connie said...

I bet Liam had fun exploring the thrift store. I love the idea of the cascading rainbow waterfall. I'm sure that would fascinate young children too.