Monday, 27 April 2015

U is for...Understanding the world

Welcome to today's A to Z blog challenge post! I apologise for being a bit behind – I ran out of time to post on Friday, and then I fell ill over the weekend (which made work today super fun...).

Anyway, let's get started! This post is all about the letter 'U'!

I was going to base this post all around the concept of understanding your characters and their motivations, or understanding what you want to get out of writing etc etc; but then something happened at work that really made me stop and think.

I can't go into too much detail, but it really hit home for me about how not everyone sees the world the same way. Some people look on the bright side and manage to see the positive in everything; others may feel like the whole world is against them for no apparent reason; people can interpret actions and words in a hundred different ways from someone else, depending on what mood they're in. And if you suffer from anxiety or depression (like me), or another mental illness, or maybe perhaps you're somewhere on the autistic spectrum; once again your world view will be so different form the people around you. There's no telling how someone will react to a simple greeting or conversation, or a dream they may have had, or a TV show/film they may have watched – you simply don't know what's going on inside someone's head, no matter how close you may be to them. All you can do is try to be there for them, and be as understanding as you can.

I apologise for this post not being strictly about writing and for it being a bit vague, but I guess if you wanted something 'writerly' to take away from this then make sure the reader can understand, not only your character's world, but also the world inside their heads. Every single person sees the world differently – and if you really want to grab a reader's interest, the same should be true for your characters as well.

What do you think? How do you make all your characters see the world around them? Do you find it difficult to show their motivations and beliefs, without simply telling the reader? Have you ever written about a 'diverse' character e.g. someone with a mental disorder, or someone on the autistic spectrum? Let me know your thoughts!

Happy Monday, everyone!


  1. I've written a couple of characters that I think have a mental disorder, but readers don't always pick it up.

    My A-Z posts this year - vignettes - has proven that people see the world completely differently. Themes and situations that I thought were quite blatant have been interpreted in various ways. It's an interesting reminder, but I don't feel the need to write differently. People ought to have their own opinions.

    I'm not sure that's answered your question, or if I've gone off on a tangent :-)

    Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

    1. That's a very good point! I've really enjoyed reading both your vignettes and the responses, because it's fascinating to see how everyone has interpreted it differently. You answered my questions perfectly :)!


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