Pay attention—two simple words essential to creative writing.
One definition of “pay” is to “give or bestow.”
The word “attention” derives from the Middle English word “attend” or to apply one’s mind—one’s energies to someone or something.
To me, paying attention means being present with a purpose. It’s active and focused. By paying attention, we engage our five senses and absorb our surroundings. We take from life to create fiction.
As you go through your day, zoom in on small details then write them down (as you in your own individual and unique way) see them.
Pay attention to your dreams. You didn’t even have to work for those. They simply came to you for free in your sleep!
Focus on the lines crisscrossing your palm. Observe a woman making an omelet or a man pulling on knee socks. Take note of the smell of gruyère cheese being melted for fondue. What does it feel like when a caterpillar moves across your arm?
By paying attention, our fiction can only improve, and the reader will thank us for it.