Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Why Wednesday: Seeing the World Like A Four-Year-Old
Let me tell you about my four year old grandson, Luke. Like most children his age he is interested in the why, what and how of everything around him. He can't learn and experience everything fast enough. One day when he was playing with some children the familiar question of size came up. "I'm bigger than you," said the big kid. Luke looked hurt but then quickly quipped, "Well, I'm smarter." *stifled laughter* It was then that we realized we had a live one and he was ready to hit the world head-on.
Four-year-olds don't miss a thing. Every nuance, every detail is absorbed and stored, only to come out later, hopefully not in an embarrassing way. (You know, the cuss word yelled at the top of their lungs or a detailed description of last nights argument to a complete stranger) If they don't get something they question it.
Somewhere along the way, we lose that intrinsic curiosity and confidence. We become complacent observers. As writers we need to tap back into this mindset. We need to ask why our character wants what they want. What is it that makes this character so mean? How come he's afraid when he sees a spider? The real challenge is how do we train ourselves to see the world as if we are seeing it for the first time?
What tools do we have to get us to that paradigm?