Writers are a unique breed – good, bad or otherwise – writers have a compulsion to translate what their senses and imagination convey and turn that into a piece of written art.
Chekhov was one of our masters at providing glimpses into his point of view through his eyes, told through his words…
The closest I believe I have come is when I was speaking with the 15 year old daughter of a friend. The girl, we’ll call her Catie, has been writing seemingly her entire life and she asked me how to take an ‘ordinary’ (in her words) story and make it ‘extraordinary’?
Because I knew her father was very particular on etiquette and protocol, I asked her if she knew the ‘correct’ way to hold a wine glass.
True to her father’s teaching, she picked up a glass by the stem and even gave me a minor dissertation as to the rationale for same.
After the glass was now safely back on solid counter-top I asked her to imagine the following…
“It’s the late 1950s – Chicago – inner city but toward the south-side… A disheveled woman walks into a bar, obviously totally alone… Her eyes stay unfocused on the floor even as she orders a drink. Her odor and demeanor result in her continuing to be alone, despite a relatively full establishment…”
“What are your immediate thoughts about her?” I asked.
“She’s probably someone living on the streets.”
“What else?” I inquired.
“She is probably illiterate – or close to it. She’s obviously broke and probably doesn’t have any family,” commented my young friend.
“What if I now tell you that as she sits alone in the corner, she picks up the glass of her cheap rot-gut wine by the STEM..?”
“OH MY GOD!” exclaimed Catie. “She’s from money and elegance and – OMG – what HAPPENED to her???”
As Chekov said, “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
~ Leigh St John
If you would like to discuss a Coaching Program to take your writing and/or your book to the next level – or perhaps to turn a book you have already written into a best-seller, please feel free to reach out… www.LeighStJohn.com
I look forward to hearing from you!
[image thanks to dailyfig.figment.com]