18 January, 2012

Sensing Your Mind

Writers' Wednesday!!!

In many ways writing is meditation.  It helps us make sense of the swirling intangibles of our mind.  Vivid visualization feeds vivid writing feeds vivid visualization and so on.

Thoughts rattle off in rapid fire mode and (especially when they're really good) we let them flick around like a bad music video.  That type of visualizing is not helpful.  To write better, we need to hold on to one thought at a time.  Write it out thoroughly before letting it move on.

For example, if I told you that three ducks attacked a hedgehog, your mind would try to picture the action and the events surrounding it.  Break it out slowly before the ducks wind up in court.  What color are the ducks?  How effective are their attacks against the hedgehog?  What's the hedgehog's disposition?  Where are they?  Back alley?  Woodland stream?  Purple meadow?  What can you smell?  What is the weather like?  Are there any witnesses to the attack?

I've "slowed" your mind down to just the moment of the attacking.  Actually, I just added more detailed information about the attack.  It's still working just as fast.  Don't worry.

Obviously, not every moment of your writing need be as thorough, or you'll have a terribly slow pace.  (But, that's what editing is for.)

As you prepare to write, your senses become engaged in the ideas you organize.  Try to focus on them and build as complete a picture as possible before moving on.  You'll discover after utilizing this process that your mind becomes sharper in the mental images it creates.  And that makes describing it in words so much easier.

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