Wednesday, 16 April 2014


20:21:00 Posted by Lindsay , , , 1 comment

We are told as writers to avoid cliché and overused metaphors. I find a good way of viewing a scene or an object in a new way is to rediscover it. Pick it apart into its most basic elements and piece it together again so it's the same thing but stands out. Children are great for this, they are looking at the world with fresh eyes and can come up with some novel ways of seeing things. I don't necessarily use what they say, but I relearn how to see things with new eyes in the way they do. Everything is new to them, and their point of view is a lovely way of interpreting objects around us.

They are also great for raising questions where an idea can spring from. My middle son Leo recently wondered why earwigs were called so, and envisioned an ear with a wig on. He makes me chuckle but it did make me wonder where the name came from. My eldest also gave me an idea for a children's story once when he asked if sheep get angry when their fleeces are taken from them. This led me to write a children's story about an outraged sheep who goes on a hunt to find his missing fleece.

Rediscovering the world is a way to write the old into the new. A new perspective is always great to write from, and refreshing for the reader. It can take something mundane and pedestrian and refresh it so that it becomes exciting.


vicky ellis said...

So obviously I had to know where the name 'earwig' came from...

The common term, earwig, is derived from the Old English ēare, which means "ear", and wicga, which means "insect". The name may be related to the old wives' tale that earwigs burrowed into the brains of humans through the ear and laid their eggs there.[2] Earwigs are not known to purposefully climb into external ear canals, but there have been anecdotal reports of earwigs being found in the ear.[3]

Wig, on the other hand, comes from the older term 'periwig', which is derived from the French, 'perruque'.

I'd tell Leo that wig really means insect and see where he goes with that :)

Totally agree that kids are a brilliant source of novelty. And with the sciencey stuff I posted yesterday, that means that they are basically how we keep our minds young. Now, if only they had the same effect on our bodies.

Great post, thanks!