Past, Present, and Around the Corner

I perceive my goals with my blog thinking and writing efforts–are to improve my own writing, while taking our readers along the trip with me—in case my issues and insights are more universal than just me. Said a different way, my sharing all this writing angst is hopefully to mirror what some writers are also feeling/thinking; and for readers, emphasize the fact it’s not just sitting down at the keyboard(smile, smile) and pounding out a book. At least not for me!

And most importantly in my thinking— is I want readers to gleefully jump full-steam into the story happenings, and want to be there. For the whole point—bottom line in my mind—is fiction writing and reading is to enjoy a chunk of time in our lives.

Writing and reading should be Fun. With a capital “F”!

Last year I focused on characters. This year I’m going back to scenery. I say back to, because much of my novice nattering was a lot about how important scenery and characters are. Well, I’m still of that mind, but hopefully I’m thinking and working on both on a deeper level. This year back to looking at scenery with more veteran eyes. Because “A-Number-1” for me as a reader, is escapism. Going somewhere that isn’t my house(more specifically, my couch!)

I write third person, omnipotent—all seeing and all knowing, ha, ha! Third person, can be omnipotent when it comes to viewing the world from the outside, or viewing through a characters perspective—knowing what he/she—actually what everyone—is thinking or doing. And that’s where the writing competence comes in—when and how to present the scenery my characters are acting in. With the key goal of sensory intake of the reader—bringing them into my story.

So today is “sensing” the scenery. And here’s what I’m thinking . My first “new thinking” inclination is the past is more easily able to be internalized by a reader if “told” by the characters themselves. Not through omniscient expose. More often than not, I’ve filled in past happenings as the omniscient storyteller. But, if a character was actually there, they should share their vision. We should see what they saw, not what the author thinks is a pretty or interesting picture…

An example off the top of my head—as narrator I might say about a past event, “It was a rough fight, hard punches thrown, blood drawn and splattered all over.” While a character would say/or think, “God, when I got smacked in the mouth, it really hurt against my teeth. I still remember the taste of my own blood…”

And if talking about scenery in the past in particular, I could say “it was a cool summer morning, and xxx remembered that first day it started. Indeed, her minds eye could once again see that sky as she looked up and from her books and saw such beautiful colors – as the sun rose…”  OR xxx rubbed her eyes and looked up from the book she was reading, and the scratchiness she felt in her right-eye reminded her of a similar day two years previously—feeling the same ocular irritation, seeing almost identical colors on the horizon, experiences almost identical feelings of apprehension….” I’ll stop(smile) getting carried away.. The goal, I think, is to bring the past out of the background, into a current plot happenings.

So the take away, I think, even though you might be writing in third person, sensory recounting the past should be done when possible through a character’s eyes. This is going to be hard for me because I like past stuff to come out in the “mystery reveal.” Hmmm. And the combining this thought with sensory perception exposition. Hmmm. But using my thoughts from last year on characters, and how they sensed the past, is a good place to start I think..

Speaking of last year, on a personal note, so glad 2021 is in my rear view mirror. My thinking is probably psychological craziness on several levels, but for me, good riddance none the less… And hello 2022!

Happy Writing Trails!

17 thoughts on “Past, Present, and Around the Corner”

  1. I do like your idea about having not only the storyteller/writer tell us what is out there, but also have the characters tell us how they see things. I always thought it a good idea for two characters to see the same thing, but react to it differently. For instance: one character sees a bed of roses; the other sees the thorns on the bushes. The reader learns a lot from both their perspectives. Thanks, Mad, for opening this avenue a little wider for us to explore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I very much like the idea of the differing character views. The reader can see the scenery from two separate view points and at the same time get insights into the character’s personality. I’m going to try! Thanks, Gayle

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Shira! I’ve agree if the actor isn’t that great! But I also think a really good actor can actually expand upon the written character. Who comes to mind is David Suchet and his portrayal of Hercule Poirot. And your point is very valid, getting into the character’s head is so important.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree that it’s really a fun thing to get to know our characters by seeing things through their eyes, including their surroundings. Enjoyable post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve chosen an admirable goal this year, Mad. A more intimate connection to our characters comes from sharing the same experiences, along with a deeper understanding of who they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These writing goals, Miko, push me forward writing wise…otherwise I can be a very lazy person and watch TV all day from my couch(smile). Thanks for the encouragement!


  4. DEEP! Really deep, Madeline. (smile, smile). I love the way you take your thoughts and us, around the rock fall in the path, looking at it from all angles, while watching your/out step in case you/we trip and fall over the edge into the revine. And in looking all around those large and small rocks… some now mere sand in the road… you and we readers see the sparkle of gold, on the finger of the protruding hand…of a woman who is very dead under those rocks. And there, the mystery!! Love your way of thinking and writing, Madeline.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow!, Jackie, you’ve so wonderfully and creatively started a murder mystery! Love your comment, and of course lapping up your complement! As I intimated in my response to Miko, I need to do more of the down the path movement, not just the thinking (smile)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re definitely in agreement, Maggie. And revealing the past through their eyes is what I’m going to be thinking about. Thanks for stopping by!


  5. I agree with Gayle – the old adage ‘show, not tell’ still works. And yes, reading should be fun! We want our readers to be totally drawn into our stories, as you say, Mad. You gave us much to think about. Thanks.
    BTW: I have been trying to post this since early Wednesday morning. WordPress keeps telling me I don’t exist – so0 fingers crossed this time! Rosemary

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, you got through the WordPress obstacle course, Rosemary. Getting this posted gave me fits! But at last, we’ve connected(smile). Yes, I’ve learned so much from Gayle’s good advice, and show not tell really applies here.


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