At a workshop recently, I met a really interesting woman. When I returned to my group of friends, I told them about her and turned to point out this terrific woman in her pink top. We searched the room. No pink top. Everyone sat. No pink top. I totally turned out the next speaker becasue I couldn't believe I couldn't find her. She`d mentioned she was looking forward to the next workshop so I knew she hadn`t left.
I finally spotted her. I'd looked at her and past her several times. Hadn't recognized her. She was wearing a black top. Black. Not pink.
Of course my friends thought it was hilarious. I laughed too - life is too short not to laugh it up when you have the chance! But later I wondered how I had made the mistake. I hadn`t recognized her face several times, but I could tell you all about her life, her approach to teacher and even her parenting style.
I think it's another example of my global brain. I tend to look at the big picture in everything I do. I know instinctively when someone is having a tough time, the kids at school think my ability to understand them is kind of spooky. I know who will be friends, who won't get along. I know when they haven't eaten, when they don't understand a topic and when they need to let off steam or have a shoulder to lean on. I know when they`re going to blow and can almost always stop it.
How? Don't have a clue. When pressed I can come up with some body language cues but that's about it. I think my brain just absorbs the big picture and translates it for me.
On the flip side, don't ask me what anyone wore today. Don't ask me to notice a new haircut... or colour. Those are the little details the more linear brains seem to notice.
In my writing I do the same thing. I work from an emotional level. Anyone reading my stuff should get a good feel for the characters - should know them, should be able to anticipate their reactions. But they might be hard pressed to describe them. Because I don't. Hardly at all.
Although I'm fairly artsy, the visual details aren't always noticed and rarely make it into my writing.
What about you? Are you a 'big picture' or 'little detail' kind of writer?