The Importance of observation

by MARCELLA SIMMONS
(Logansport LA USA)

The Importance of observation

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.

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 you’re trying to tell, let your readers smell too.

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?

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 your stories.

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