Through the Window #atozchallenge


Quite possibly, the only Hanukkah song I’ve ever liked is the one that begins,

In my window where you can see the glow
From my menorah, on newly fallen snow

Menorahs have nothing to do with this post. Windows, however, do.

And that’s because I want you to stop and think about windows. About how you use them in your fiction.

Specifically, are they used as a diversion? To show that the character is ducking out on a difficult subject at hand? Is the author using the view out the window as a distraction from something that is difficult to write?

If not, are windows a way of bringing a bigger element into the scene? Do they widen the world-building? Does a lack of windows tighten the pace, the tension, the world-building?

Yep, on one level here, I’m talking about a literary device. It’s one that most authors aren’t aware they are using, because we’re told to use all our senses, and so it makes sense to expand those senses to what’s going on outside. Is there nothing in the house to feel? Then add some wind blowing outside. Nothing to smell? Add some flowers.

(First off, however, an author does not have to actually use all five senses in every scene. At least, not by the time the final draft gets uploaded. That’s a great exercise for first drafting and finding your way to the heart of the story — the puke on the page! — and then, as you revise, you can craft and shape out many of those unnecessary details.)

So think about your own work. Think about what you’re reading. (Because you ARE reading, right?) What purpose are the windows serving?

And if you’re using them to dodge something that’s difficult for the author or the character, is this a spot that could use a deeper push? Go and and get uncomfortable; you can always walk away if it’s too much.

But you can also come out with something brilliant.

Let me know how it goes for you.


1 Comment

  1. P V Ariel

    May 31, 2017 2:58 am

    Hi Susan,
    So glad to be here today,
    I am here on your page from one of my friends’ online.
    Happy read about the a to z post.
    I was a participant there some time back and since few years I could not take part in it.
    A well-written piece on the day for W.
    But would like to drop a word on my observation on your page.
    Hey, the white fonts on the black background really give a hell of a time to read, It really irritates our eyes! I am sure people will ran away from it especially people like me. It surely strains the eyes especially the old peoples.
    Hope you will find some solutions to it.
    Sorry for telling about this,
    Have a great week ahead.
    Best Regards
    Philip Ariel from #philipscom @PVAriel

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