Story Telling… by Nancy Brophy
Posted by SeeJanePublish
We learn though action, but all experiences are not universal. My brother visited from Austin, Texas and last Monday morning we went to the Oregon Coast. His knowledge of the beach is the Gulf in June. Hot. Sunny. Tar, dead jelly fish, and sun-burns from frolicking on the beach.
But the Oregon weather was cold and rainy. The men (not him) were dressed in overalls, rubber boots, and flannel shirts. Sun-burns were unlikely and a lot of people were armed with shovels or had their arm buried to the shoulder in cold sand while digging for clams.
So when a book’s setting is June at the beach, what image do you visualize?
I am currently writing a story that changes locale. Think about the difference in weather in January between Chicago, Illinois – Rome, Italy – Washington DC, and Portland, Oregon. While I don’t exactly hate research, I don’t love it either. But some facts have to be accurate, but there is latitude. Today, only one week later the weather is 95 degrees and Portland is gritting its collective teeth to get through the five-day heat wave.
Emotions are more universal than calendar months. Even if you’ve never been angry enough to kill someone, you recognize anger in yourself. Or the first gut-wrenching stirrings of love. Was it love or the flu? In books we put our heroes and heroines though the wringer. While in real life we wouldn’t go through the agony. If a relationship is too much work, most of us simply move on.
Our job as writers is to tap into the universal emotions of the reader while telling a unique story or a fresh twist on an old tale. Writing takes a lot of focus. I marvel at the woman who became a best-selling author while mothering nine kids.
Computers and most appliances were designed for efficiency – time-saving devices for the modern family. If that is true, why am I busier than ever? Henry Ford designed the black Model T, then became annoyed with the American consumer who wanted it in blue or white. Foolish waste of money for an industry he’d invented.
Everything we do is like throwing a rock in a pond. To a point we can control the rock, but the ripples created take us places we never dreamed. One can’t tell how they will influence others, all we can do is put our words on paper and hope they are good enough.