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A writer needs to be observant of different types of people, places
and things like it were a sixth sense. While everyone else is talking and
chatting at the party, you need to be observing the elderly lady who
keeps touching the younger man sitting at the side of the room just within
eyesight. The man keeps pushing her hand away but she slowly slides it up
and down between his thighs did he find it embarrassing? Why didnt he
get up and walk away? Why is she touching him she must be twice his age?
He looks around to see if anyone is watching, especially his wife who is
across the room talking to another woman. He stands up, excuses himself
and walked away. The lady with the roaming hands, upset that he was cool
with her, scoffs hastily off to the bar.
This is one way to observe someone but put more description into what
the lady was wearing. Too much cleavage exposed wrinkled neck and
unsightly wrinkles on her neck, covered in a quarter million dollars worth
of diamonds. She wore white gloves to conceal the ugliness of her aged
hands the large dangling earrings matching the necklace only proves that
she is wealthy and is accustomed to buying sex from younger men. Her
getting angry only proves that she was accustomed to getting her way.
The guy she was making a pass at simply proved that he loved his wife
and money no matter how much could get to him. Though he seemed a
little nervous and tempted at first, but in the end he walked away.
Writers need to observe quietly and take mental notes about the
interesting people around them. Save these for a rainy day. You might
need these observation pieces later on in a fiction story or book project.
When something is rough, and you run your hand down it, you can actually feel its roughness your readers want to feel it too, and
it's up to you to let them feel without actually touching it in any way. If
something smells bad, really stinks and it is an important part of the
story youre trying to tell, let your readers smell too.
Once, when my husband and I stopped at the grocery store for milk and
bread, I stayed in the car. A lady came strolling out of the store, with
bag in hand, evidently carrying on a conversation with her self. No-one
else was around. She never noticed me sitting right across from her as she
walked about 150 feet to her car. She laughed out loud, and as she
unlocked the door, she started talking again.
She looked up, and saw me staring at her (I was only observing not
actually staring!) and she hastily jumped in her car, bumping her head in
the process. She must have felt humiliated. She cranked her car up and
sped out of the parking lot in a hurry! I never saw that lady again.
Staring at people is rude, but carefully observing someone from a
distance without actually staring is appropriate. Listen to their voice.
Were they happy? Was their voice shrill, dull or softly spoken? Was it
heavily accented? What language did they speak?
People are interesting creatures, and everyone is different. No two
people are alike some are shy, some are soft-spoken some are loud and
rude. Thats what makes people interesting and unique to observe. A
writer is responsible for the way her characters act and look it never
hurts to have plenty of people observations stored in your filing cabinet
for a rainy day!
Observation is a powerful tool (a sixth sense) that every writer
should learn to use. Using your observations carefully in your stories
will keep your readers turning pages and coming back for more every time.
Use your sixth sense when you can. Record it and use it over and over in
Marcella Simmons has been writing professionally since 1988
she has over 650 published credits in over 350 small press
publications nationwide. In 2005, Simmons had her first book of
poetry published, and is working on several book projects at
this time. She continues to write a regular weekly column for a
local newspaper in her hometown, as well as many other writing
projects. "Writing is a way of life for me," she says.
Simmons is the mother of eight children (all are grown now) and
she has seven grandchildren with another on the way. "My
family is also a way of life for me, and my inspiration."
uses English spelling conventions.
Spellings such as "realise"
differ from other spelling conventions
but are nonetheless correct.
Austin and Macauley publishers'
contests Austin and Macauley publishers are running three free-to-enter mini writing competitions with signed first editions as prizes. Competitors must write 50 words on a specific topic to be considered.
For more details click
"Things kids say" stories needed United Press is seeking funny short accounts (around 100 words) of amusing things children have said. The best submissions will be published in a book launched recently by actress and TV celebrity Lynda Bellingham. Half the cover price of every book sold will be donated to the children's charity Barnardo's.
Author focused online directory FiledBy, Inc. has announced the Beta launch of its
"filedbyauthor" website. The site provides every author that has been published in the US or Canada a free, hosted, ecommerce enabled web page ready to be claimed and enhanced. Readers can also join the community, create their own pages, and connect with authors.
Erbacce prize for poetry The Erbacce Prize for Poetry is open to entries to its free competition. The winner will be awarded a publishing contract with erbacce-press, publication of their collected works, 20 free copies of their book, a personalised sales page, and generous royalties.