TCTW July Blog-Chain!
My Dad is colour-blind. His perception of the world (of colour at least) must be quite different to mine: it is hard for me to imagine red and green being almost indistinguishable rather than sharply contrasting. Dad’s colour-blindness has occasionally caused me to wonder whether other people perceive things the way I do. What if I see the world in a completely different light to everyone else? The topic for this month’s “Teens Can Write, Too!” blog-chain is: “How has writing affected your perception of the world?” I don’t actually think that most people perceive things in a completely different way to myself, but I’m sure we don’t all see everything exactly the same way. And even as individuals, we change; our perceptions change. How does writing change our perception?
My first thoughts on this topic were “golly, this is tough, maybe I’ll wait till next month to join the TCTW chain!” But I won’t get very far if I wimp out of anything difficult, so signed up anyway. My first half-serious thoughts were, “writing doesn’t really shape my perception of the world, reading does”. For me, writing is more of an outlet: it communicates what is already a part of me. Our perception of the world, rather, is moulded by what we read and what we are taught — what we take in.
I think my enjoyment of reading is what has made me want to contribute to the stocks of reading material. Thinking back to when I started to write may help me to understand how (if at all) it has changed my perception of the world. I learnt how to write in 2002, age 4 1/2, but it wasn’t any particular hobby of mine back then. A more relevant date might be 2007, when I wrote my first novel. It was all happening for me at that time, literary-wise: I had just started to use the Sonlight Curriculum; I was reading the Lord of the Rings for the first time; a 15 year old friend of mine was writing a novel — and reading it aloud to us every Saturday night. I was eager to join the literary community.
The first thing that changed was I perceived that writing a long novel is not easy. My first novel took me 8 months to write, but it finished up only 5000 words long. It only really had two scenes — plus a “prologue” (more of an introduction, really) and an epilogue. If you want to write a novel — as opposed to a short story — you really need to flesh out your tale and include a lot of twists and turns in the plot. My respect for authors of long books grew greatly when I wrote my first novel.
Another thing I perceived was that it is hard to write a purposeful novel. I’m not even talking about themes here, I’m talking about the fact that my characters act illogically. Why do they do stupid things? Not because they are meant to be duffer-heads (though some are, of course), but because I am one. Your novel can never be truly more amazing than yourself, because you create it. In one Sherlock Holmes episode, for example, Holmes deduces that a man is “an intellectual” (correctly in the story) because he has a big hat: not everything Holmes deduces makes perfect sense, because he is limited by Arthur Conan Doyle and Doyle’s perception of the world.
The ever-present limitations and similarities of my writing, across genres, has gradually caused me to think that each writer has their own trade-mark style. C.S Lewis is C.S Lewis: from the Chronicles of Narnia to the Space Trilogy to the Screwtape Letters. We may emulate the virtues of superior writers, but if we attempt to utterly forsake our personal touch, we will not succeed.
To move away from fiction, my opinions are shaped by the slant of what I read and hear (and also, I hope, my brain), but these opinions are defined more clearly when I put them into writing. When one writes, the facts must be ordered with some degree of logicality, or one’s arguments fall apart. Sometimes I can get away with believing something illogical — but trying to articulate what I think, and why I think it, is harder. When I put the words down on the computer screen, the keys act as a filter: they sift the fact from the fiction. They are not so effective a filter that all writing (much less all my writing) is unquestionably infallible, but it is easier to believe unexpressed untruths than stated ones.
In general I’ve ignored the stimulant questions given on the TCTW website, but there is one that I thought I’d answer: “do you find yourself to be more attentive or less?” Less. I’ve never been a terribly focussed person, but writing hasn’t helped. Lately when I start to think about some idea, instead of popping up with some non-sequitor statement (“You should sit on your clothes before you get dressed in the morning, it warms them up.”) I start planning out a blog-post in my mind. Usually these future blog-posts last about five minutes and are then abandoned, but every once in a while I persevere with one. I don’t think it has to be this way; I’m sure I don’t have to be thinking about criteria for good sequels while I’m (trying to be) reading When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, but that’s the way its been so far.
One last thing I’ve noticed recently: I’ve begun to analyse books as I read them. One of my aunts gave me The Deltora Quest 3 for my birthday, and as I picked it up and started reading a few pages I found myself thinking about the style of the writing. I’ve never thought much about Emily Rodda’s style before: I’ve just sat down with one of her books… and stood up again a several hours later!
Well, you’ve stuck it through to the end of this rambling, off-topic post from a novice teen-writer. Congratulations. I have even gone over the word-limit slightly; hopefully Allegra and John will forgive me. Now you can go and read something better on the same topic. Follow the blog-chain for more!
July 7–http://miriamjoywrites.wordpress.com–Miriam Joy Writes
July 8–http://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com–Musings From Neville’s Navel
July 9–http://insideliamsbrain.wordpress.com–This Page Intentionally Left Blank
July 10–http://maybeteenauthor.blogspot.com–Blog of a (Maybe) Teen Author
July 11–http://scribblingbeyondthemargins.wordpress.com–Scribbling Beyond the Margins
July 12–http://lilyjenness.blogspot.com–Lily’s Notes In The Margins
July 13–http://correctingpenswelcome.wordpress.com–Comfy Sweaters, Writing and Fish
July 14–http://laughablog.wordpress.com–The Zebra Clan
July 15–http://realityisimaginary.blogspot.com–Reality Is Imaginary
July 16–http://a-myriad-of-colors.blogspot.com–A Myriad of Colors
July 17–https://anmksmeanderingmind.wordpress.com–An MK’s Meandering Mind
July 18–http://incessantdroningofaboredwriter.wordpress.com–The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer
July 19–http://allegradavis.wordpress.com–All I Need Is A Keyboard
July 20–http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com--Teens Can Write Too! (We will be announcing the topic for next month’s chain)
Posted on July 17, 2012, in My Thoughts, Teens Can Write Too Blog-Chain and tagged Changes in Perception, Reading, TCTW, Teens Can Write Too, Teens Can Write Too! Blog-Chain, The Effect of Writing on Perception, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.