As a writer we are constantly seeking to explore the rich web of life, and to do so a writer needs to maintain their wonder lens. Without a wonder lens our stories would become static and repetitive, there would be no new or fresh perspectives, and no growth.
A sense of wonder is as vital to a writer as our imagination and our insights. Here are some reasons why a writer should never lose their sense of wonder.
We need to see life through other people’s perspectives
Wonder[Verb]: Desire to know something; feel curious.
Whether you write in the first or third person, and no matter how many POV’s your novel may have, it’s essential to see all the character’s perspectives. First person and close third person use perspectives to jump right behind the eyes of the character, and this would be impossible without a sense of wonder.
One of my favourite scene writing styles is where the reader is pulled in from a distance. It’s where you move from third person cinematic to close third person, and I love the way that it spirals in, closer and closer until you are sitting in the character’s skin. There’s a great write up here [3rd person point-of-view]. It’s a powerful tool when correctly used.
We need to see things as if for the first time
Wonder[Noun]: A feeling of amazement and admiration, caused by something beautiful, remarkable, or unfamiliar.
If you watched the sun set for the very first time you would probably describe it with a sense of wonder. It’s not about being verbose in our descriptions; sometimes it’s just a word or a short phrase that pops the reader right into a scene.
Our stories need a protagonist, however conventional or unconventional that role may be
Wonder[Noun]: A person or thing regarded as very good, remarkable, or effective.
We breathe life into our stories through the characters we create, and we always do so with a sense of wonder. I love this definition for a protagonist. How could our character be very good? How are they remarkable? How are they effective? If you can answer all three questions you have a few great additions to your character profile.
So, if I was to choose someone unconventional, like say Dexter, then he would be:
Very good at killing people,
Remarkable at disposing of bodies.
And effective at covering his tracks.
Let’s pick someone from the less questionable side of the fence, say Frodo Baggins
Very good at doing the right thing.
Has remarkable endurance.
And is effective at disposing of rings.