Sunday, 11 August 2013
Observing the World
In a world that is constantly developing and changing there is always something new to see or discover. However, how many of you actually take the time to pause and observe your surroundings? Do you stop to smell the flowers, take in the view? What about that sunset or is TV an evening priority?
Being an author, becoming observant comes with the territory. Views turn into book setting, smells and sounds turn into vivid descriptions to help the reader form an image. And the sunset? Well that may just turn into a cheesy romance setting - if you like that kind of thing that is.
Personally, I love observing what others do - actually I prefer it to conversations at times. You get to see the little thing people do, hear odd things that spark ideas or - and perhaps the best - get a rare glimpse of something unusual or funny that is a freak accident. It's one of those thing you know you have to weave into you next book when you see it.
I love it when life throws something new and unexpected my way and am quiet happy to sit quietly for hours just watching. I get asked a lot why I prefer being quiet and listening to others than talking myself and the simple answer is; I find it more interesting and you can learn a lot. The other, more blunt, answer may be I don't want to talk to that person or I don't like being the centre of attention in a crowd. I won't admit that to them though...
I've also heard a few times that people do become wary when an author is in the room (not just me, I've heard it from friends). I'm not sure why as we're not there transcribing the conversation or actually looking for ideas, if anything we're there to be sociable - maybe. Believe it or not, there are rare occasions where we can pull ourselves away from our computers and come out of hiding but my tolerance lasts for about an hour in large crowds. Even then only the odd thing will catch our eyes. It may work itself into a character but we're not sat there judging you or turning you into a fictional being and the likelihood of anything being recognizable is pretty slim. So if you're one of those people I assure you you can relax around us!
Anyway, that's a different topic and I'm getting side tracked. Next time you're sat somewhere, either waiting for someone or are just out on your own, take a look around. Nature can be just as interesting as people and who knows? You may see something that surprises you.