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Tip Tuesday #150

Tip Tuesday features writers' tips on craft, research, querying, blogging, marketing, inspiration, and more. If you'd like to send in a tip, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

Hey all - I hope your Tuesday is off to a great start. Heather Villa sent in today's tip and it's her first here on Lit Rambles. I think her advice will resonate with many. Please stop by her website, Heather Villa Writes, and make her feel welcome in the comments below. You can also find Heather on Twitter @HeatherVilla1.

A Necessary Element 

The sight of an intricate flower petal, the smell of freshly shampooed hair, the taste of rain, the contact between two people in an embrace, and the sound of laughing children encapsulate the five senses. While sensory descriptions reveal information in almost any story ever told, an equally necessary, yet more challenging component is the portrayal of human relationships.

The solitary process of writing balanced with outward connections allows a writer’s world to expand. A writer’s interactions with close companions, as well as acquaintances and strangers ensure the foundation needed to develop the behaviors of characters in a story. How a character interacts with others reveals the essence of a personality.

To write about pain, jubilation, anxiety, or excitement experienced by others, we must try to understand those around us.

Agree to the challenge and step away from your writing, even for a few minutes, to connect with someone. Open your front door and walk outside. Take a moment to talk with a person in your community. Observe the interactions between others. Attempt to understand another’s story.

Next, step outside of your community. Strike up a conversation with someone beyond your inner circle. Deepen your understanding about someone who lives a life far different than yours.

Lastly, see the big picture and find commonalities shared between people from different walks of life.

When you meet the challenge to step away from writing, your personal story will be broader and with a new perspective the words you write about a character who overcomes a challenge, endures a loss, or fights for justice will include an authentic voice.

~Heather Villa

27 comments:

  1. Great tip Heather. We're so often in our little cave. It's important to connect with people to understand relationships, especially those who don't live in our worlds. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I just took a break from my "writing cave" and visited a neighbor for a short visit and returned rejuvenated.
      Thank you, Natalie.

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  2. Nice to meet you, Heather. This post is so true. The idea of a solitary writer sounds exotic, but it's probably not going to make the person a very good writer. We need to experience to write about it. And good reminder to always incorporate our senses into our pieces.

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    1. Pleased to meet you, Theresa. Thanks for reading.

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  3. It is surprising how many details come up that go back to something I glimpsed while watching people years ago, or a story a friend told of some distant cousin that fits exactly into what a character needs for a bit of authentic background.

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    1. It's so true that many fictitious characters in stories are based on actual people. Thanks for reading my post. Best wishes to you.

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  4. I believe that to truly understand another, one must "step away" from themselves. As Steven Covey wrote, "Seek to understand before being understood." Perhaps this is true with writing?

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  5. Now that gives me an excuse to do more people watching. But it also reminds me that there are more senses than just sight. Thanks.

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  6. Great tip. I always struggle making sure I put enough sensory images into my writing.

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    1. My challenge is making certain my characters are truly unique with their own voices. Thank you for reading the post. I just discovered your wonderful blog.

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  7. I love this! Its perfect because I'm just putting together my thoughts for a novella (or novel, we'll see) and getting these tips right now is perfect timing!

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    1. Oh...The beginning of creating a new story is so exciting. Have fun as the characters in your novella (or novel) evolve. Thanks for reading.

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  8. You can always feel when a writer cares about the characters they create, and I think that comes from getting to know and understand those around you. Well, put Heather. It's a great reminder to step out of our circles and get to know the world so that we can write about it. Thanks!

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  9. So true! And relevant all year, but especially now when we get caught up in the busyness of the holiday season. Also, many writers wish they could write full-time, but other jobs provide needed interactions with other people for our own personal growth and the development of our stories and characters. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I will attempt to slow down during the holiday season. Thanks for adding that writers' (other) jobs shape stories. Best wishes to you.

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  10. Great tip, Heather. I really loved this post.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, Gina. I stopped by Modern World for a visit. Best wishes to you and your amazing writing journey.

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  11. I love this tip. Stepping away is so important to gain perspective.

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    1. Thank you so much. By the way, I started something new. On Sundays I step away from my computer (sometimes for 24 hours at a time). It's a challenge, but I find that I connect with my family and neighbors so much more. Best wishes to you and your writing.

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  12. It's all about the senses. What a great post.

    It has been a lovely time meeting you, Heather. I must remember to use ALL the senses, not just the ones that are easy for me like sight. And understanding those around us is key. If we don't, then how can we possibly write about feelings and life and stuff.

    Thank you so very much!

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  13. Dear Casey and Natalie,

    Thank you for the warm welcome. Literary Rambles is such a valuable resource. What a wonderful way for writers to connect. Thank you for dedicating your time to this amazing site.

    Best,
    Heather Villa

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  14. You are making huge strides in your writing. Every time you attempt a new piece of writing you have put your heart and soul into, it ends up amazing.

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  15. Kudos Heather. You really wrote a great peice with a lot of meat to chew on!

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