Monday, July 20, 2015

The Great Grocery Bag Caper

Sweetie Mom and I go grocery shopping together every week. When we check out, I always ask the person bagging to keep them on the light side.

Funny thing - when I'd pick up the bags expecting them to be a manageable weight, I'd want to call for a crane. The person would take a few items out, which would make them easier to handle.

After one such incident, it dawned on me why this was such a problem. The young football player types were judging the weight by how light it was for them and not for us. From that point on, I'd jokingly tell them to bag the groceries so it would be light for two older people (even though it pinched my brain to consider myself as older).

Someone once told me that my futuristic stories of America weren't scary enough. They had been in third-world countries and observed all kinds of horrors. Most people born and raised here have not been exposed to this type of experience. When reviews began coming in for The Moses Conspiracy, one recurring theme was how much it seemed like where we were headed.

There's some advice I take to heart with my writing, but I examine it all with care. The wrong advice can set your story, not to mention your readers, on its ear. Also, I take into consideration whether the people critiquing my work have a worldview similar to mine.

Who would have thought that bagging groceries and writing would have anything in common? It's all about perspective.

Writers:  How do you evaluate the writing advice you get from critique partners or beta readers?

Readers:  We all filter what we read through the lens of our own experience. How does your personal experience impact your book choices?

Photo Credit:  spekulator


Marja Verschoor-Meijers said...

Good post Susan, critique helps to open our eyes to our own work. I believe we all write through the lens of our own experiences, even if we try not to do so.
When it comes to the scary stuff, people see so much on tv nowadays, no one is moved anymore by horror, it seems. I would not take that as a hint to change my writing. i think you did well.

Lynn J Simpson said...

I read to hopefully gain a bigger perspective on the world! Although, I must admit, sometimes I have felt an author go too far from reality. But than that would be putting my perspective on the scene, wouldn't it? Points to ponder!

Karen Lange said...

It is all about perspective, I agree. It is also amazing how many writing ideas we get from everyday tasks. :)

Linda O'Connell said...

I should just write some of my dreams. Last night I dreamed I was in a third world country with a tour group, and the villains were randomly executing one at a time. I woke with palpitations because when they released us I couldn't find my shoes, and I had to go back and ask the executioner. WOW!

I read for pleasure and find myself leaning toward southern writers. The blurb attracts me.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Marja - I agree. My critique partners give me wonderful feedback. I think people are affected by the scary stuff when they can see the possibility of it becoming a reality in their own lives.

Hi Lynn - Yes, reading a wide variety of genres has helped my writing. I think all of us gravitate to some more than others.

Hi Karen - I'm always on the look-out for blog ideas. They crop up in the oddest places and make life quite an adventure. :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Linda - You could probably use some of that dream in a story. It would make an exciting action scene.