Monday, November 27, 2023

Writer Goggles

One of the things that happens as you write, is you develop writer goggles. You can do this even if you aren't currently writing. 
For example, the other day I watched a small child stage a very dramatic "I don't want to go!" moment in the lobby of my building. The small child lay on the ground, hands clutching the parental figure's ankles, while an elder sibling waited with impatient stance. 
I participated in a series of flash fiction challenges, and we all used the same prompt. None of our stories were remotely the same, even the ways we used the prompt varied widely. 
Newbie writers often worry about people's stealing ideas, and as many have said, they can't. Ideas can be precious and sometimes need time to percolate. But no one is going to that idea the same way. 
But one way to exercise your writer goggles is to go forward and back, expanding the story. 
Does small child do this every weekday? Does elder child have morning events that get interrupted on days this happens?
Does the parent have to be at work at a specific time or are they lenient? 
Does small child have a specific concern, or a general hatred of school or daycare?
What tiny details change the experience of the story? 
What if I tell you small child peeked up to see what reception they were getting? 
What if elder child tried this? 
What if small child just switched the school or daycare they go to?
There are lots of ways to shift or expand the story.