Building Blocks (? The ‘world view’ of our readers)

Time molds vivid memories from one’s past into the building blocks of one’s writing…

Remembering that our readers are seeing a picture that we are drawing with words, we must keep in mind that the reader may/may not mentally associate with what we are trying to infer.

“The road would seem to be in the middle of nowhere. Yet, the profusion of retail businesses at this intersection exhibited the diversity of area residents.” One should never judge a population solely on the distance you are from a large city or small town; how will your readers so judge? However, some things are universal. For instance, all around the world, birds will frequent outdoor eateries, just as people do. Here are two examples:

We were sitting outside at a café in Stuttgart, Germany, and the waitress placed a basket of warm rolls on the center of our table. Within a blink of an eye, a pigeon landed on the basket and began to feast on the rolls. I had to use my hand to brush the aggressively hungry pigeon away. I commented to my date that this café sure did serve rare food (I meant undercooked, but maybe they did serve pigeons).

In Panama City, Panama, I was having some food at an outdoor café, when I noticed two hungry looking pigeons standing by the curbside watching me eat. Not thinking clearly, I tossed a few bread crumbs to the hungry birds. Instantly, a flock of what appeared to be two thousand birds materialized out of nowhere and descended amongst the tables! Two things immediately came to mind. First, these pigeons could have easily won a pigeon race in Germany, and, far more importantly, it was time for Steve to leave the café before the other patrons dining outside realized I was the one who was responsible for pigeon invasion!

Talking about food, let us remember that our readers may not mentally associate with something we think is universal. For example, Starbucks are located all around the world. However, even though there seemed to be a Starbucks on every street in Seoul, South Korea, none seemed to have decaf coffee. I was told the decaf beans were too expensive to import. Thus, a reader from Seoul may/may not understand: “To the surprise of his girlfriend, he ordered a Starbucks Decaf Americano before heading to their nighttime playground.”

Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.

 

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