A writer’s contemplation (relevancy is relevant)


How the character interprets and reacts to an action, a word read or heard, or his/her environment is not necessarily how you or I would.

Here are some ‘relevants’ that I have thought about in my writing:

Noise level?  Is my character a young’en with his band practicing in the basement, or the 50 year old upstairs?  Same applies to the noise level at bars, on public transportation, and on moonlit walks.

Old person?  Mr. Wilson could have been in his early 30s, and still would have been ‘old’ to Dennis the Menace.

Too young?  Ask the father/mother of a 16 year old and the 16 year old.

Length of a dress/shortness of shorts?  This past summer I saw females wearing shorts that were ‘too short’; would I have said that when I was 18?

Long time before a first kiss?  How ‘long’ does your female character consider it appropriate to keep the gent waiting?  And the gent; how does he interpret ‘a long time’?

Interpretation, mental influence of posters, signs, or item names?  For example, at my doctor’s office there is a Tyco Healthcare Kenda medical needle disposal box on the wall.  To a young’en of the 50s-60’s, the name Tyco is model railroad trains (the Tyler Manufacturing Company or TYCO).  If your character hears or sees the name Tyco, will he/she want to buy a HO railroad set, or remember to empty his/her medical waste?

mentalimageConsolidated Foods purchased TYCO’s model trains and HO-scale slot racing cars around 1970.  Consolidated Foods would later change its name to Sara Lee.  (Consolidated Foods sold TYCO in 1981 for $18.6 million to Savoy Industries.)

Which, provides a reason to talk about food!

Correct size of a slice of cheesecake.  Is your character a cheesecake aficionado or a person on a diet?

Yes, relevancy is relevant.

(Oh, a slice of good cheesecake is always too small!)





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