Sunday, September 17, 2006


A writer doesn't need Horus, or the Third Eye.

A writer needs the ocular capacity of an insect.

We need broad panoramic view for our plot.
We need focus on the individual parts, like character and conflict, the pace and tension, the sub-plots and the dialogue.
We need to examine with myopic determination the spelling, the grammar, the punctuation, until we develop a cross-eyed squint.
We must inspect the forms and rules of presentation in microscopic detail: the varieties of font, of margins, of headers and footers, of widows and orphans - in pixils or on paper.
Then we need to view with far-ranging foresight the effects of query, cover, synopsis and story - from the multi-faceted point-of-view of the agents; and eventually that of the editors, the reviewers and the readers - lorgnette, monocle, bi-focal, or opera.
We cannot afford cyclopean vision.
Not with Odysseus and his ilk running around out there.
No wonder we are up to our eyeballs in work.

I could extend and elaborate this metaphor until your eyes bleed, but I went shopping yesterday.
I wanted a new pair of jeans - until I realized the over-priced, carefully faded, pale-kneed pairs were exactly the same as the five-year old pair I had on. So screw that.
Shopping always leaves me strabismic.


Erik Ivan James said...

My sister was born Strabismus. Several operations, various corrective-lens experiments, and sheer determination over her 50+ years have permitted her to become a Shopper Extravagant

Savannah Jordan said...

Shop for jewelry online--much more fun! (I can give you a few of my favorite links)

As to your farsighted metaphor on writing and vision...hence the need for corrective lenses!

EA Monroe said...

Bifocals, especially!

Ric said...

Not fair to send me to the American Heritage so early in the morning - thankfully, it was only for one word.

In my mind's eye, I could picture you shopping. Clerk nearby, watching you as you set your feet a little harder, noting your body language as you perused the price tag, wondering if she should offer assistance, seeing your lips form but not speak, "WTF?", and then wandering quickly away to help someone else.

Shadowrite said...

LOVE your take on the writer's need to have the ocular capacity of an insect! 'Cuz its so damn true.

Shopping? What is that?! ;)

anna said...

here I am commenting:

'Shopping always leaves me strabismic.'
anyway me too whatever the hell that means and the old Thorndike and Barnhart High School Dictionary is lost somewhere under a million books.

aye aye aieeee indeed - writing sounds like way too much work!

loved the graphic btw

Bernita said...

Erik, I HATE shopping.

Thank you, Savannah. I have enough jewellry.I wanted a pair of jeans, and maybe a suit. I bought a turtleneck.

Contacts, EA!

Ric, I never even mouth those words...but I'm getting there.

Hust hate it, Shadowrite, hate it, and I swear they've changed sizing again, now I need a size 8.

Thank you, Anna. Roughly, a wandering eye - not focusing properly.

Bhaswati said...

Will be back to read this post, Bernita. For now, I came to tell you that you've been tagged. See this link:

Please play!

Angel Feathers Tickle Me said...

Love to all.....

Jeff said...

"A writer needs the ocular capacity of an insect."

You hit the nail on the head, Bernita! :)

IM Cupnjava said...

That is a very unique way of looking at it and wonderfully accurate. Thanks for the food for thought.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Angel, Jeff, IM.

Bhaswati, you're a brat!

kmfrontain said...

I returned to this blog so many times yesterday, and not once did the post show up on my screen. Blooger was being very, very bad.

Bad, Blooger! Bad!

Devon Ellington said...

Very good point. We do have to be able to see in all directions -- and UNDERSTAND and communicate the various points of view.

Bernita said...

!!! Karen!

Indeed, Devon, and recognize other POV's as well, that might be different from our own.