Sunday, May 31, 2009

Visual Writing Prompt 5-31-09

It’s Spring! Oh, not here in Texas. We’re already Summer. Trust me. I have the a/c bill to prove it. But I have a sister in Minnesota who sent an email announcing Spring had sprung in her yard. And she sent pictures to prove it. Here’s one of them:

Which reminded me…Spring is not the same everywhere. If you set your book in Minnesota in early May and start talking about the heat, you’re most likely not from there - at least if you’re talking heat in the 90s, anyway. That’s Texas heat. And if you get it wrong, your readers will pounce on it. You want readers to get lost in your story, not to set the book down in order to go tweet you about your dorky mistake.

Yes, it’s true. Everything has to be researched. And climate is easy to check out now that we have the Internet.

If you were going to write about this picture, would you focus on the big beautiful leaves? Or the one new leaf unfurling? Or something else?
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  1. That beautiful hint of shade underneath.

  2. Helen, here in NC, it's summer as well! Out heat has hit, but fortunately the humidity is holding off...

    That photo speaks one word to me - lush. I'd write about an entire northern rainforest. Guess I'd be writing about my home state, then - Oregon!

    L. Diane Wolfe

  3. It really struck me this year how the seasons don't so much change as they shift, gradually, across the country. I follow the lady who does the Antiquity Oaks blog. She lives in northern Illinois. I live in St. Louis. Both standard midwesterners. Then she posted a photo of her tulips coming up. My tulips were long gone!

    Yes, as a writer, you have to pay attention to details.

    As to your picture, I'm as likely to write about the fairy living under the leaves as anything. Never know where the muse will take me.

  4. Still Spring unfolding here in Michigan. My eyes were drawn to the bud - the new life unfolding amongst the thick rich foliage.

    The Old Silly from Free Spirit Blog

  5. Ooh, Barb, you're good. You look beyond the obvious.

    Diane, I've never been to Oregon, but I hear it's beautiful - and moist!

  6. You're right, Jon. The difference in the season doesn't have to be from extremes, like Texas and Minnesota. It can be within a much closer proximity.

    Yeah, Marvin, I was drawn to that bud unfolding, as well.

  7. Thanks for writing, I truly liked reading your newest post. I think you should post more frequently, you clearly have ...

  8. We finally have grass that needs mowing here in Wyoming but our Chinese elms are just starting to sprout leaves. We usually go directly from winter to summer, but this year we've had a couple of weeks of spring. I love the green leaves unfurling in the photo and can't wait to have some of my own. :)

  9. I was drawn to the metaphor of the newly unfolding bud (child) amidst the crush (or it could be the protection) of adults.

    Your piece on research really hit home for me. I was trained (grad. school) to write seriously researched reports in strict APA style with full references. I am now, many years later, taking a creative writing class with Susan Tweit. I am finding it difficult to transition from pages of exacting data to creative writing. Your post definitley helped put my problem in perspective for me.

    Lindy in AZ where it is most definitely summer - 100 degree afternoons.

  10. Jean, we often come to Wyoming in the summer and it is gorgeous then. I don't, however, think I could survive the winters! I only wear flip flops.

    Hi Lindy. You should keep a diary (or blog posts) about your transition from research reports to creative writing. This sounds like it will be an interesting journey for you.

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  12. Hey I'm editing one of my tropical resort romances from the IMMORTAL PARADISE series, and there's a scene where the hero is pushing through thick flora I was just working on. This reminded me of that!

    We're into summer here in CA, with the accompanying bill to prove it as well. sigh.


  13. A tropical resort romance, huh? Sounds like perfect reading for any time of the year!

  14. Spring in Florida means only allergies to me:) Loved the picture and detail! Good points about getting weather correct with a little research.

  15. Terri, I thought Austin was the allergy capital of the world. Must be only the allergy capital of Texas!

  16. I would focus on the scary thing hiding behind the green stuff.


  17. You made me laugh, Patricia. It takes a very creative person to see what others do not!


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