I just read Kate DiCamillo’s web site. (I am looking at web sites to see how I want mine to be.) She describes a writing class she took in college. Her professor read her essay and asked the class what was remarkable about it. He said it wasn’t the writing; it was the seeing that made Kate’s work stand out. She took time to really see the person she wrote about. He went on to say that it was the responsibility of every writer to see the world they wrote about.
Did Kate do that with Because of Winn Dixie, Mercy Watson, and the other books she has written? I think she has. In Winn Dixie there are lonely children and even lonelier adults. We know this because Kate takes time to show us the characters. They become real to us because Kate sees them and tell us about them.
At critique group the other night part of my feedback consisted of:
Let us see the countryside
What are the characters thinking?
How do they feel?
I was not seeing my writing as clearly as I could. I’ve gone back and redone the pages. I hope I don’t make the same mistakes again, but I’m a slow learner and seem to need to be told over and over. (I hope I’m getting better.)
So here’s to Seeing the World! Let’s each set a goal to see the world in our writing.
Thanks Kate for your advice. Point is well-taken.