We writers are like birds perched on a high limb as we take in the daily interactions of those around us. We continually feel life’s flow while we note the little things that others may be doing. A lot of simple moments are taken for granted by many, but those of us who are keen observers see small events as possible scenes or images for a creative work.
Sights and sounds are essential to setting the tone to a piece or deciding where those characters will have their conversations. It could be the tick of a watch, or the voices on the television from another room or the evening sun streaming in from the living room window that serve as an impetus for putting words on the page.
We are reminded that we are still being energized as we float through life. We may hear the laughter of co-workers on break, or the rolling wheels of a food cart going pass or the tapping of the keys as someone works on a laptop. It could be the shrill cry of a baby which almost everyone will stop to see if things are under control. Any of these may be later used to add imagery for a scene.
We hear of the traumatic circumstances on the news every day, but even in the midst of trials and tribulations, there is a steady river of goodness that envelopes us, if we take note. Co-workers often become like second families. They laugh together, cry together and support each other in the tough times. We look forward to seeing them in the morning and having small chit chats during the work day.
Or, it may be the local store clerk that we have come to know and expect to be there. We look for some stability in this ever-changing world and those daily interactions make us know that all is right with the world. There are many stories being told throughout the day if we really take the time to reflect.
I am reminded of The Stylistics’song, People Make the World Go Round. They truly do and we, as writers pay attention to the small nuances, gestures and voice inflections of others. Then, when it is time to put pen to paper, we may have an “Aha” moment and say, “Yep. I got it!” I know exactly what they will say and where they will be standing for that chapter.
Daily interactions are great writing prompts if we are tuned in to our everyday surroundings!
May 28, 2015