Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Eyes Of Other Days.

Two people observe the same scene, the same event, the same people, the same movements and interactions, hear the same dialogue, breathe the same air.

Get them to each write a description. They won't be the same.

I spent thirteen years in the police force, and you'd be surprised how often witness statements don't match. I had witnesses and offenders even tell me things I knew to be untrue. They weren't lying, it was simply how they perceived, how they remembered the situation. Their reality was different to mine.

For example. I once arrested a young man who had broken into a store at night. He told me he panicked when I pushed my gun in his face. My gun had never left my holster, nor had my partner's. He was telling the truth as he saw it. Was it his fear of being caught that caused him to remember it that way? I have no idea.

So someone has a similar idea to yours. Don't worry. An idea is not the same thing as a story. I give a 'topic' or an idea to a class of 25 students at school, and no two stories will be the same.

I recently read a piece that was based on an event at which I was present. There were only about 8 people there, and one of us wrote a beautiful, lyrical description of it. Not only did I love the writing, but it was nothing even remotely similar to anything I would have produced from that same event.

If I'd even thought to create something from that time.

Try it. Share an idea with another writer, and create two pieces of work. Compare.

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