Have any of you read Winifred Gallagher‘s book, Rapt? I have not. Which is to say I read the beginning and then the book lost itself among the hundred-something boxes involved in moving countries.
Rapt, or certainly the bit I read, talked about how what we pay attention to shapes the way we experience the world – what you focus on is what will stand out for you. What stands out for you is what you remember. Your memories make you who you are – at the very least, they play a huge role.
Focus is an important writer’s tool – how many times have you heard ‘give the reader select details that will convey the scene’s atmosphere’? Sometimes, though, it’s hard to decide on which details to give. There are so many to choose from.
Try thinking of the things you notice in different moods – what jumps out at you when you’re angry? The blood red of the mug on the coffee table? Perhaps when you’re upset you see all the little details you normally miss – the dust on the lamp, the precise way the pillows are piled on the sofa, the painting hung unevenly on the wall.