Friday, August 27, 2010

How a Watch Proves I Have Writing On The Brain

So hubbie and I were window shopping last week. He's rather obsessed with watches, especially the mechanics of the movements. He showed me this one by Breguet (price tag $23,000.00. Yep, that's right. We won't be buying it. Ever.)



But see how the movement (gears) is so prominent, and the actual dial (face) to tell time is squashed up high? Well, hubs was quite impressed. It's a big deal to show the movement on the front of the watch, and so this piece is historic.

But for me? I laughed.

"It's all show, no tell."

I explained what I meant, how in writing this is usually a good thing, but in watches (for me) I thought it didn't work.

Hubs says, "Wow. I can really tell you're a writer."

So I ask you. Has your writing gone to your brain so deeply that you talk in writing terms sometimes? Or your perspective on things has changed because of your writing skills?

59 comments:

Paul C said...

I am reminded of the quote about knowing the mechanics of something which will help you to appreciate it more: art work, writing, watches...

Liza said...

I catch myself mentally recording scenes as I see them. The words don't come yet, jut the reminder that later I need to invite them. The watch is neat.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Oh, I've definitely done that. My kids are used to it now. ;)

I do love the watch, tho, but no way in a million years would I spend that kind of money for one.

Laura Pauling said...

I find myself using certain terms. One I can think of is, dialoguing. I mean who uses that in real life? No one but a writer. :)

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Can I just say I love this post, and leave the rest unsaid?

Mary said...

I loved that first paragraph. To laugh first in the morning is wonderful.

I tend to see things in scenarios now, especially if I'm only observing. My mind seems addicted to taking mental notes.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Lydia...I often talk in writing terms. Whenever someone is telling me a long winded story, I tease them to "edit," in short keep it small and nice.
I constantly bombard people with writing terms.

Aubrie said...

Now I can't watch a movie or TV show without thinking of plot and character development!

Neat watch. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I notice a lot more in the books I read, particularly what I don't like about the work.

KatieO said...

The thing I notice most about "writing on the brain" is when you look at a scene and try to come up with the most precise adjectives to describe it.

Without using adverbs. Or the word "that." Or any cliches. Or the word "like." Or...

B.E. Sanderson said...

When I'm in editing mode - like now - I reword everything. In conversation, I'll restart a sentence a few times just to get it right. Or someone will say something and I'll think of a better way to say it. (Lucky for the rest of the world, I do this inside my head.) Or I'll read something and as I'm reading, I'm rewording to try and make it better - even when it's not mine to reword. I also proofread everything - including the news tickers, promotional emails, other books, newspapers... It's a sickness, but once I start something new, it'll pass - until the next time I'm editing.

DL Hammons said...

Nope. Its just you. I would seek help immediately!! :)

Amie B said...

since my story ideas come from conversations, i find that i evaluate every word wondering if it would work as a story. stupid, i know. but, at the very least, people think i'm really into what they have to say :)

great watch, btw.

Cheyanne said...

Yes. I frequently point out cliches in real life. And sometimes when my fiance describes things with too many adverbs, I correct him. =)

Ted Cross said...

Mainly it has made it difficult for me to both read books and watch movies purely for the enjoyment like I used to. I always subconsciously analyze them from a writers veiwpoint.

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

yep, that price tag can feel the whole village somewhere...
Happy Friday!

xo

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

typo;
feed, not feel
woops!

Linda Kage said...

It's kinda bad when people confide in me and tell me about something happening to them, because the whole time I keep thinking, "Now, if this happened along with that, and so and so reacted like this, we'd have a totally awesome story on our hands."

Theresa Milstein said...

Beautiful watch, even if it's all show and no tell!

I'm just like you - writing is on the brain for most of the day, coloring my perspective on just about everything. It's how I know I can't stop writing, no matter how many obstacles I face. My brain has rewired.

Connie said...

I think it was Mark Twain who once wrote how being a riverboat captain made it so that he could never look at a river again in the same way. Instead of delighting in the roll of the river, he'd be thinking about sandbars, etc. Sometimes I feel that way about writing--Ooo, look, the author is introducing a red herring or the antagonist's excuse, etc. But, thankfully, with a well-written book I can still get lost in the story.

Indigo said...

I used to drive my husband insane when we watched TV together. These days, he'll take the inititive and say something like, "Now that's good writing." There has also been the occasional, "They paid someone to write this?" said in a sarcastic tone.

Why yes, he does have very high expectations of me. Definitely keeps me on my toes.

I think he appreciates the fact, I'm constantly looking for plot in every day things. (Hugs)Indigo

aspiring_x said...

oh Lydia! you're too clever! :)
like a few others said, it has sort of ruined watching movies and reading for pleasure... unless the thing is crafted well, i get so distracted!!!

sharmon said...

Just came across your blog. Yep, I see pretty much everything in writer's terms. Really enjoyed the post. I read a couple of other posts and really like that you use the word "groovy" :-).
Wish you the best on Chap. One! Have you broken the ice on it yet???

Clara said...

Definetly. I cant watch a movie in peace today, theres always a characters thats not being dully exploited, or too much telling no showing, like in The Last airbender.

My peaceful movie days are over...

Lydia Kang said...

Hey all! And welcome Sharmon to my blog!

I am actually, right now, going to turn off my internet and write for two hours. Ack! I'm scared, and I'm happy. Here's goes.

Carol Kilgore said...

YES!
Have a great weekend.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

How expensive was that watch *mouth falls open*

I do this too. I get a lot of strange looks :)

Jonene Ficklin said...

I love writers' groups, writing seminars and conventions, where everyone has 'writing on the brain' and speaks like they do!

It's also fun to see all the sub-cultures (writers, teachers, doctors, bikers, pilots, artists, etc.) we have in every society, where each group has their own slang and terms.

Trying to capture them for a character/plot in a book is the trick! That's why writing is a wonderful obsession and never gets boring.

Nisa said...

After reading a lot of blog posts, yes. lol! Not when I've just been writing though. Then the story is on my brain. I suppose it depends on the stage your in. During editing/revising, I could see this happening a lot, but if you're focusing on just telling the story, not as much for me.

Elana Johnson said...

Oh, for sure. I can't even watch a movie anymore without thinking about writing. I'm always looking for the next perfect name for my next character. Credits are amazing for that, BTW. ;)

Abby said...

Haha, this is so me! I was learning a piece of music, and my piano teacher told me I need to put more character, not just play the notes. I immediately thought "show not tell." Glad i'm not the only one!

Erinn said...

I try not to use meaningless word when I talk, and I mentally curse when I say "just" or "pretty".

Bossy Betty said...

Oh yes. I have a post about this coming up soon. How did you know? Freaky....

lbdiamond said...

Well, the process of writing certainly mirrors real life. I've learned to slow down and pace myself, I've learned to enjoy the process, I've learned to work on my patience, and I've learned to develop great supports! :D

Amanda Sablan said...

That watch is amazing, but I think I'd prefer buying a car. /:

Like most writers, I make mental notes as to what I need to do next in my story, or what I seriously need to change. Also, I'm always paying very close attention to how people talk, especially the mistakes they make and all the "uhs" and "you knows." It can really drive me nuts sometimes...

Lisa Gail Green said...

Um, YES. My husband, the Engineer's new favorite term is "info dump." It's spreading...

Mayowa said...

Your husband and I are probably best friends, we just don't know it yet.

By golly that watch is something...makes the heart pound.

Holly Ruggiero, Southpaw said...

I find myself constantly analyzing situations.

MT said...

Thanks again for the shout out on your sidebar, Lydia!
I haven't paid any attention to whether or not I use writing terms for non writerly things, but I'll probably notice now that you've pointed it out. Fun post. :)

Lynda Young said...

This is funny.
For me, it hurts to watch tv... so many cliches are out there. I wince every time!

Krispy said...

That is an expensive watch, but totally pretty to look at. I love that sort of thing (but not for that price).

Totally do the writing comments thing. It's a good thing my friends are weird too, so we talk in lots of weird terms.

Good luck with breaking the ice!

Paul C said...

Hi Lydia, I just provided a link for this charming post. All the best.

The Words Crafter said...

I miss my co-teacher's son. He is an aspiring writer toiling away in college. We talk about characters, plots, can/can't do's, fav writers...all of the above. Now that he's back in school, I don't have anyone in my physical, 3D world to talk to about writing and I am sad. So it that way, I'd say yes.

For the record, love the watch, I'd get another band. I ADORE watches...

Dayana Stockdale said...

for me, it comes out in movies. I seriously CANNOT watch a movie with analyzing how the director pulls of exposition and world-developing and mood and basically every other element of fiction.

Jemi Fraser said...

Love it :)

I used the word query the other day and had everyone in the room stop and just look at me. They also don't let me speculate on movies anymore - drives them batty how often I can 'see' how the plot is going to end :)

Jennifer Walkup said...

Ha - this post made me laugh. And, yes, I see writing metaphors everywhere. It can be funny and at times, annoying. Hubby actually asked me to stop analyzing plot and character arcs in every show he watches. Great post idea.:)

Robert Guthrie said...

Every now and then I'll think that a real person I've met is not such a "rounded" character.

Karen Lange said...

Yes, I have a writer's brain too. Can't watch a movie without dissecting the plot, can't read a book without catching things I might change...It's in my blood and there to stay, I suspect.
Happy weekend,
Karen:)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I'm always thinking about my senses... How does this bike ride feel? What was that smell? If I rub that how will it feel? Will people look at me funny if I rub it? I should try a saki beer bong just to see what it tastes like...(well, I just want to do that, it has nothing to do with writing children's books...)

Julie Musil said...

That is so funny! Yes, I do relate most things to writing, and I get lots of eye rolls around the dinner table.

Journaling Woman said...

First of all, I love that watch too. I love how you can see the insides. But, no I will never own it.

I live and breathe writing. My family is use to the writer talk, especially how I dissect a good book or movie.

Teresa

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Writing does get into my movie watching these days; when something about the plot or the resolution doesn't ring true, I start analysing why. Out loud. To my husband. (A very patient man.)

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Keep up the fantastic work!

patti said...

Wow, is this place TICKING, Lydia.

Um, yeah has it changed things.

My life has become one big plot.

As Julie Lessman and I told folks in our fiction class at the Green Lake Writers Conference last week, watch out, or you really WILL be in our next novel.

Fictionally yours,
Patti

Heather Taylor said...

Well, if I ever had the money for it, I would definitely get that watch.
Writing always changes my view on life. I often feel I am the most boring person ever and would rather learn about the lives of others than my own.

Valerie Ipson said...

I've found nearly everything can be related to writing and I have to bite my tongue often when I'm with nonwriters.

Alesa Warcan said...

Heheh...
I've been told that my dreams are a giveaway of my story telling habit in that they usually make sense and have an intro/development/conclusion. : j

notesfromnadir said...

Nice watch but I won't be buying it this week. Or next.

It's a great analogy for the show & tell that's vital to us writers.