While the Mundane Takes Place – Write, Write, Write!

Unless you’re some all-powerful deity, you have a little mundane in your life. It’s true. Even the movers and shakers of Hollywood and the Tower of Song get to partake from the Table of Mundanity. Nobody is exempt. It’s kind of like dying–no one here gets out alive. You don’t have to be a poet to know that simple truth. Life is dying. And dying is living.

It’s the middle road between birth and death that matters. And not just the glitzy stuff. There’s more to life than podiums and celebrations. So much of our living time is filled with simple moments of non-fabulousness. As a writer, I try to pay particularly close attention to these moments. I always found that it is in the simple less spectacular events where story hides. Like a crouching lion, the details lurk under the surface of our mundane downtime. It is when I’m bored or idle or daydreaming that I ask myself, “What can be found in this time?” “What universal truth, wisdom, parallel, insight, emotion can be found within this moment?”

When a writer connects with that part of us that is universal–that humanness that we all share–that is when the fireworks go off. You don’t necessarily reread a passage in a story where the most exciting seat-of-your-pants action happens. But if you find that one special sentence that crawls down inside you…that sentence you recognize and know could have come from your very heart…that’s the sentence you’re going to read and reread. You’re gonna fully relate. You’re gonna say an emphatic, “YEAH!” or “YES!” It could be a mundane part in the story where the main character slices into an apple with a paring knife. It could be the way light comes into a room and rallies dust motes to dance. These mundane moments captured for one great big universal AHHHH! That’s what I love about writing. About reading. We share the simple moments that go into a life…the moments that connect EVENT to EVENT. Just those mundane moments that are filled with the hidden knowledge and wonder of universal commonality.

Don’t overlook a thing when you’re putting a story together. To capture the heart of the reader, you will need to capture the essence of humanity. It’s not found in the glamorous and intriguing fabulousness of the EVENTS. It’s found in the things we do every day. The minutiae. That will capture your reader and allow them to step inside your story bus…just to see where it is you’re going to take them!

By Kevin Craig

Author, Poet, Playwright. Author of The Camino Club, Billions of Beautiful Hearts, and Book of Dreams, all from Duet Books, the LGBTQ Young Adult imprint of Chicago Review Press. Other books: Pride Must Be A Place, Half Dead & Fully Broken, Burn Baby Burn Baby, The Reasons, Sebastian's Poet, and Summer on Fire.

1 comment

  1. I love it when a reader points those moments out to me. Sometimes we write them and it just feels natural, not spectacular. It isn’t until it is done or when someone says “oh, wow” that we realize what we’ve written.

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