Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

    **MATERIAL ON THIS SITE IS COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. For permission on reprints or reusing this material, please contact the individual authors. For sharing the actual post, please use the share buttons.

  • Blog Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 83,270 hits
  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • Celebrating the Church Year
      by guest author, Jessica SnellThe Lord is always with us. We are never out of His presence, never hidden from His eyes.But it’s hard for us to remember that.Where He is omniscient, and never sleeps, never slumbers, we are distracted and busy and fallible. Though He is always mindful of us, it is hard for us to keep our thoughts constantly turned towards Him. […]
      noreply@blogger.com (April Gardner)
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • Featuring Critical Condition by Richard L. Mabry (Doc)
      Back Cover Blurb:It was supposed to be a quiet dinner party with her colleagues. Not the scene of a murder.But the murder of a stranger on her front lawn is only the first in a string of events that have Dr. Shannon Frasier’s life teetering on the edge of chaos: She’s unable to make the deeper commitment her boyfriend deserves. Her sister shows up at Shannon […]
    • An Interview With Texas Author Richard L. Mabry
      Welcome Doc Mabry, we are so thrilled to have you here with us today. I hope you don't mind that I used a photo of your book signing with a different book. I felt our readers need to know you have published many books.And now we want to know more about your novel Critical Condition. What can you tell us about the story behind this book? Most of my books […]
    • Interviewing Christian Author V.B. Tenery
      Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Virginia. We are glad to have you here with us today.Question: Is there a story behind your book Works of Darkness?I wanted this story to show the consequences of not taking responsibility for ones actions, and the consequence of failing to do so. Question: What started you on your writing journey? I’ve always been an avid […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • Permanent Resident at the Purse Table, a COTT Feature
      “Keisha’s debut novel is a sweet reminder of the redeeming power of love, along with a dose of drama between good friends! Her characters are so relatable because they’re imperfect people who’ve made some serious mistakes—just like the rest of us!”-Michelle Stimpson,nNational Bestselling AuthorAbout the book:If you’re size six, you dance. If you’re Ava Alexa […]
    • Escape to Ireland in "Londonderry Dreaming"
       "If you need one of those “Ahh…” moments, consider taking a trip with Keith and Naomi and read Londonderry Dreaming"--Sandy Ardoin, Romance Author and BloggerAbout Londonderry Dreaming:Acclaimed New York artist, Naomi Boyd, and music therapist, Keith Wilson, loved one another five years ago, until her grandfather with his influence over Naomi sepa […]
    • Worth the Wait--A Win Worth Waiting for!
      All the best things in life are worth striving for,such as Christmas, babies, and winning at Clash of the Titles! Our latest winner is a YA novel that, according to one of our voters, is the "perfect high school drama." The readers have spoken!Hats off to you, Laura, for your smashing win!To celebrate Worth the Wait's win, the e-book will be o […]
  • RSS Little Bits Blog

    • Spring's Tease
      April is here. It's supposed to be spring. Well, it was supposed to be spring in March but not much has been in evidence. We've endured a tough COLD winter. Now the weather is supposed to warm. Crocus, tulips, daffodils and such are to be poking their heads out of the ground. For every one springlike day we have been getting four to five cold winte […]
    • Seeing The Life - Chapters 1-2
      I'm working fast and furious on my next book, Seeing The Life. My goal is to have it finished by the 15th and the release date is June 7. I truly feel God's hand in this work more than any other. The life of Jesus is well known and studied by, hopefully, all Christians. It places a huge burden on me to make sure things are correct not only in his l […]
    • Help!! I'm Being Buried 
      I've done it again. My email inboxes are overflowing. In my personal email there are 658 emails with 441 unread. In my Soph [...]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Fun new cozy by Susan Bernhardt
      The Ginseng ConspiracyBy Susan BernhardtEbook 5.95MuseItUp PublishingJanuary 2014  Amazon Barnes and Noble MuseItUp About the Book:On her way to attend a Halloween Ball, Kay Driscoll, a newcomer to town, witnesses the murder of a local professor. When the official coroner's report rules the cause of death to be accidental and the community accepts the j […]
    • Women's Expo starts next week April 17!
      Thursday, April 17, 2014, time 1-4 PM CT location www.BibleStudyExpo.comHere's a taste of what you can expect:1 PM CT - Lisa Bevere starts off our Expo with the story behind her book Girls with Swords: How to Carry Your Cross Like a Hero  1:15 CT - Dr. Jackie Roese will share the story behind Inhabit: A Study on the Holy Spirit. 1:30 CT - Kathy Howard w […]
    • Authors in Bloom - fun stuff, giveaways, tips, eReader prize drawing
      10 Days of Giveaways - Gardening Tips – Recipes - and more!Plus a GRAND PRIZE* you’ll be digging to win!What will be given away? Everything from books to swag, promotional products and more! The grand prize is a Kindle or Nook (a $200 value) and a $25 gift card worth of ebooks!!! (Winner’s choice which ereader and ebook retailer gift card.) A second prize of […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

    • BOOK REVIEW: GOING ONCE BY SHARON SALA
      Nola Landry barely survives a flood in her small Louisiana town by clinging to a tree on higher ground. While hidden in its branches, she witnesses the brutal killing of three neighbors who are shot by a man in uniform in a boat. After being rescued, and losing her home, she is rescued by three FBI agents who have come to town to track a serial killer nickna […]
    • Book Release and Author Spotlight: Paula Mowrey, Legacy & Love
      Today I am featuring author Paula Mowery who has just released her first solo fiction book, Legacy and Love.Paula  is a published author, acquisitions editor, and speaker. Her first two published works were The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing from Pelican Book Group. Both are women’s fiction, and their themes have been the topics of speaking engagements. I […]
    • Book Review: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
      Every now and then a book comes along that will stick with you for the rest of your life. For me Unbrokenis one of them. The story is based on a true story about the life of Louis Zamperini.  Zamperini, the son poor Italian immigrants, grew up in California and was a wild child on the path to serious delinquency when his older brother Pete finally managed to […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
  • Second Monday: Sophie Dawson

  • Tuesdays – Promotion in Motion

  • Wednesdays: Life of a Writer – April & Positivity – Lisa Lickel

  • Thursdays – Luther’s on board

  • Fridays – Revolutionary Faith, Devotions by Elaine

  • Saturdays – Janet Perez Eckles

  • Sunday – Reflections Book Reviews

  • Blog Authors

  • The Barn Door

  • The Barn Door Book Loft. Free Books! Book Giveaways.

  • John 3:16 Marketing Network widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info)>

Using our Senses in Writing – Vision

Posted by Lisa Lickel on July 25, 2012

Seeing or Looking?

Fans of the James Cameron sci-fi movie Avatar will recognize the Na’vi greeting, “I see you.” As Norm explains to Jake, the phrase means more than hello/aloha or I’m looking at you, it means I know you – I recognize you. Even

more, to me, that greeting implies a certain trust, very much unlike our overuse of “How are you?” and our pat answer of “Fine,” which is usually a variable lie.

As one of our five recognized human senses, sight is often considered of first importance. Vision commands many other aspects of our lives; to lose it can be devastating. But to those who have never experienced it, other senses gain strength, not necessarily to compensate but to add depth to awareness. Why are such things as Balance or Perception not separately recognized senses? Because they are governed by other organs that command those senses; the nervous system carries signals to the brain, where the physical experience is sifted, judged, and assigned a value. I experience a sense of imbalance when my eyes are closed, but my sense of balance is controlled by the workings of my inner ear. I can perceive physical experiences like odor or dampness but I cannot understand either without smell, taste, or touch.

So why am I separating Sight from Looking? Seeing is a surface sense, like the words of the Na’avi greeting. Being able to look, to go beyond the first impression of sight, is as different as an X-ray from a visual exam; as different as a victim of prosopagnosia (the inability to recognize faces) from a victim of Treacher Collins Syndrome (those born without a face).

Just because a creature can see does not mean he can recognize and then understand or put into perspective what is seen.

How do I use the concept of “look” in my writing? Successfully adding a layer of deep examination turns a written paragraph into an artistic rendering. A line becomes two-dimensional when we add other lines to create a shape; the resulting shape becomes three-dimensional when we add a sense of depth with distance or shading. We live in a three-dimensional world and relate best to multi-dimensional experiences. How can you add these layers? By practicing the art of noticing. It is an art that we can all learn, but at our own pace. I’ve long admired such characters as the great sleuths – Sherlock Holmes in particular. What makes him special? He’s smart, of course, but he’s able to not simply take in a scene with his eyes; he can look at it with an inner perception that notices what is different, out of place, unique, exceptional. If you’ve never done this exercise, I encourage you to practice with a friend. Have someone pick up ten random objects, small enough to fit in a shoebox or such container. Test yourself by spending short periods of time, ranging from 10 – 30 – 60 second increments of time studying the objects and then listing them. First, trying to remember as many as you can, then recounting what you recall about each of them: shape, color, texture, size, relationship to the others. You and your writing group can practice a similar exercise by observing a public scene, such as when you go out for lunch or coffee and watch the people around you, what they consume; the decoration of the room, timing of the wait staff, and so forth. Practice looking for certain numbers of surface details first: each of you might pick twenty details of the outing to commit to memory for discussion later. Why did you notice those particular items? Gradually you’ll find yourself noticing richer layers of perception every time you look around. A chair will no longer be simply a chair, but (add your own details) a southern pine ladder back, worn with generations of hands caressing the top rail; the back legs slightly more worn than the front as it’s been pulled back and forth over the floor. The seat cushion of mauve checks tied to the back rails was a concession to the regular occupant’s pain; the stitching has come loose, maybe from being untied and tied and washed repeatedly…and so forth, leading the reader to conjecture with you not only about the piece of furniture, but about the story behind it.

We’ll focus on vision in a story I’ll start today and gradually add senses each of the next four lessons to create a multi-layered experience. Feel free to comment or add your own descriptions.

A one or two-layered story might start like this:

Selena joined Justin for a walk on the beautiful Circle Path before dinner.

A multi-layered, visual focused, story might start like this:

Selena put the oven on low while for the roast so they wouldn’t have to rush on the Circle – the path around town. She locked the door behind her, stalling a bit as she looked at her husband. Justin stood in the driveway, still as the light post, while he waited for her. She sighed. His hands were firmly stuck in his pockets.

About these ads

One Response to “Using our Senses in Writing – Vision”

  1. Using effective descriptions is allowing the reader to see for themselves what the setting looks like, rather than telling them about it. You can achieve this by avoiding labels that are not descriptive, as well as making sure a variety of senses are used. By being an observer, your writing will be more enjoyable and realistic. So get to work, go to the park, go to the library and start observing the world around you. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to write the next fantasy world that trumps Hogwarts. Remember, JK Rowlings was inspired by a train ride. Who knows where you will be inspired!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,249 other followers

%d bloggers like this: