Life With Wee People: Would you like some fries with your ketchup?
Perspective is a funny thing... Writing a book makes you pay more attention to people and may introduce you to all sorts of interesting characteristics in them you may not have otherwise noticed. When writers are trying to create a well rounded virtual character for their literary work they start to notice mannerisms in others, like if given half the chance sometimes Stephen, the Minion Blur will eat all the ketchup before he knocks off the fries (LOL). Noah doesn't add salt or ketchup to his, but I will add salt to my ketchup to dip my fries in. I eat multiple fries at a time. Stephen is a singular fry eater while Noah alternates between singular and multiple french fry popping. Our french fry trait in common? We hate being interrupted when consuming our fries but will talk over the burgers and between drinking. Note: we always eat our fries first (LOL). How do I know Stephen isn't feeling well? If we go out and he doesn't touch his fries... It took a couple of years to learn this. Habits equal a prelude to hindsight.
The girls and I have been working in Starbucks all morning, listening to random conversations while writing our novels and have discovered the concept of hindsight bias. My kids do not currently suffer from this verbal affliction but I am sure as they grow older adults will introduce them to the concept. I don't know if that's a good thing or not but I guess I'll deal with it just like everyone else does (sigh).
According to Wikipedia:"Hindsight Bias, or alternatively the knew-it-all-along effect and creeping determinism, is the inclination to see events that have already occurred as being more predictable than they were before they took place.  It is a multifaceted phenomenon that can affect different stages of designs, processes, contexts, and situations. Hindsight bias may cause memory distortion, where the recollection and reconstruction of content can lead to false theoretical outcomes. It has been suggested that the effect can cause extreme methodological problems while trying to analyze, understand, and interpret results in experimental studies. A basic example of the hindsight bias is when, after viewing the outcome of a potentially unforeseeable event, a person believes he or she "knew it all along". Such examples are present in the writings of historians describing outcomes of battles, physicians recalling clinical trials, and in judicial systems trying to attribute responsibility and predictability of accidents."
Any parent with kids will tell you there are times when the wee people are very predictable and we use hindsight to head them off at the virtual pass. Then there are times we stand there with our mouths hanging open because we never saw it coming and can't believe the little buggers did what ever it is they did (LOL).
Friends and relatives can leave you non-pulsed too... It's just a fact of life, one that I need to pay more attention to because hindsight points out the turning points in life. We do not always realize when we've come to a significant moment (or turning point) and sometimes it's the change in mannerisms or industry indicators we missed that clues us in later... Remember the real estate bubble/there is no bubble debate? Lots of 20/20 hindsight going on with that one, eh? ;-)
I bet you can find hindsight blips in a lot of social media conversations and blog posts if you pay attention (LOL). I'm paying attention now because I need to understand the motivations behind what the cartoons in my head are doing. Novellas are a new medium for me. It's a virtual world where I have to set acceptable ground rules for the characters to function in while making sure they know what it is they are talking about. They have professions. I'm researching how to do a lot of stuff so they can do what their job title entails in my books. I also need the characters to speak with the same curiosity and honesty as my kids. The little minions are pretty blunt about what they want when they do decide to have a conversation with you. I'm taking my cues from the wee people because they make everything a fun adventure when you set them in motion.
P.S. Will be on vacation soon and plan to set them off in very interesting ways (LOL). ;-)
Aint people watching grand? You can learn a lot from hanging out and being very quiet while simply listening. Since there appears to be so much of hindsight bias going around in general conversations I now realize I need to add that to the characteristics of the characters in my books (while reminding myself and teaching my kids not to lean that way too often - LOL). ;-)
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