Monday, April 26, 2010

Definition Please: Curiosity

Welcome back, friends. My short hiatus is done. Last week I posted about how kids like the little things in life and it has inspired the creation of Small and Simple Things Week. All week long, there will be posts that emphasize some aspect of the little things that we all miss or forget or don't enjoy any more. Hope it's a great week for you. On to today's post.

I've noticed as I watch my children, and most children in general, that they are curious about everything. My 18 month old will sit on the floor, happily stacking blocks to see how high he can get them. My 3 year old throws rocks in the air to watch them fall down again. (Yes, he gets hit in the head fairly frequently, but a mommy kiss makes it all better. I don't know why.) Little children are constantly figuring out how the world works and what the rules are. Their curiosity is boundless. Sometimes, they are curious to the point of it becoming dangerous. "What happens when I run out in the street?" "What if I stick my finger in the electric socket?" "What if I try to help mommy cook dinner?" Everything and anything is interesting, whether it should be or not.

I've found that as a writer, a healthy sense of curiosity is pretty much essential to success. I have to be able to look at things and ask myself, "What happens next? If my character does this, what will it mean for that?" Curiosity drives me to find new situations, new ideas, and new possibilities for the stories I write. I think that a really big sense of curiosity might be part of what gets a lot of us writing. We want to explore the world, but we can't do it in normal ways. We can't hop on a jet to Bora Bora. We write about it. Pretty much every story idea I've had has been the result of a "what if this" question. I'm curious.

Curiosity makes the world a richer, more fulfilling experience. What are you curious about? How does curiosity help your writing?


Talli Roland said...

I think as a writer you have to be curious. You have to question character motivations and really get into your world. If not, it will be flat. Keeping your eyes open and always wanting to explore is a great thing!

T. Anne said...

I'm a curious creature by nature and I sometimes worry I look like a nosy body. I can't help let my stare linger for the sake of observation. Half the time that's all I do.

Sandy Shin said...

My curiosity seems to dull with time, as I discover things I prefer and become set in my way. But you're absolutely right! Curiosity is a must for a writer. Sometimes, asking myself, "What are my characters curious about?" also creates curiosity in me. :)

P.S. I'm so sorry for the late critique! I promise to get it back to you within today.

Krista V. said...

I'm the same kind of writer, Kayeleen - my ideas generally grow out of what-if questions.

Jaydee Morgan said...

Yep, I'm curious by nature and I think it's a great thing (not everyone around me agrees). What if's and what happens next? are the most wonderful questions we can ask.