I’m reading the HCSB Study Bible for Women with notes from Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Harrington Kelley. The notes on Exodus 38:8 discuss how women donated bronze mirrors to build Temple basins for the priests. I thought, Bronze. That means they never saw themselves as we see ourselves. They only saw themselves through a yellow haze. I realize the Bible speaks of mirrors more than once, but I hadn’t previously thought about the significance of ancient mirrors being made of bronze.
I could base at least five devotionals on this thought, but my focus here is on writing. To wit:
Does your reader see your characters in a bronze mirror?
Are parts of your plot seen through an inaccurate lens?
As you write and revise, consider that the reader knows nothing more than what you tell them. No writer can assume that a reader understands what a character is thinking or doing unless the author offers enough detail to make the image vivid. An author shouldn’t even take an ordinary device, such as a telephone, for granted. For instance, a reference to a Blackberry might be considered dated. Imagine a young person today reading a book in which the author didn’t think to describe a character in the 1950s calling into a party line using a rotary dial telephone, especially when that character overhears a secret!
Of course, authors can take descriptions to the extreme. I may be odd (Don’t answer that!), but I don’t have to know that the heroine needs mustard from the grocery store or know that the hero brushes his teeth with baking soda unless the plot will otherwise perish.
The talented author proficient at crisp writing and judicious editing will bring their characters and plots to life to help ensure forever a devoted readership. Look in the mirror. Could that writer be you?