Friday, October 5, 2012

Finding the Ordinary to be Thrilling




I stumbled across a blog earlier today, The High Heeled Physicist, and she had a great quote.
You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.  -Andy Warhol
I tried to decide if this would be a better prompt for my New Fashioned Housewife Blog or my writing blog and I decided this blog because finding something thrilling in the ordinary is what art is all about.  For those of us whose medium is the written word, it's even more important.  We dig into the relationships and nuances that define us as humans and expose it as a tangled, messed-up, beautiful reality. We take what might be boring or mundane and point out what's amazing about it.  We capture smells, touch, sounds.  We note and record what others have been trained to trample over.

I'm not talking just about the literary fiction genre or rambling on and on about the beauty in a blade of grass (although that might make for an interesting poem).  I'm talking about noticing the special but overlooked details.  I'm talking about looking through the eyes of someone else and seeing what they would see.  Noticing what they would notice.  Finding a hidden truth in something small.

The fantasy writer places these things in a made-up world.  This highlights even more what might be ordinary because everything is extra-ordinary.  The mystery writer shows us nuances in clues.  The horror writer really digs into our senses, finding those tiny details to place us in the middle of the terror.  The writer of history shows us an old world through new eyes.  In all writing, it's through exposing a few common details in thrilling new turns of phrases and perceptions that makes our writing come alive.

What is something that's ordinarily boring that thrills you?  What thrills your characters? 

5 tidbits:

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I love finding excitement in the mundane. I think it's one of the reasons I keep writing, and quite often while I think my books might sound boring when I first get the idea. :)

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Oh, I meant to link to a post that your post reminded me of: http://theinnocentflower.blogspot.com/2008/03/literary-lab-thursday-post-034.html

Kelly Polark said...

So true. I love how small children can open the eyes of adults while finding excitement in simple things, too.

strugglingwriter said...

I love architecture. I love trees and their colors. Anything that occurs in nature. I've really learned to just appreciate everything lately, to be honest.

I take particular glee in a well-crafted pun, lately.

It's really easy for me to see the world through new eyes, now that I have kids.

Lynda R Young said...

What a great quote! It's so true, though. There is so much in the supposed 'ordinary' that we tend to miss those little details.

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