As an author, I have control of the perception, and the reality. The convergence of the two can many times result in conflict, propelling your plot, and or story forward. If you think about any plot, thriller, mystery, romance, or sci-fi one of the main plot points will be a matter of perception and or misconception. Someone thinks the reality is one way, when it is not. (ie. he thinks she loves him, she doesn't, the killer isn't the man at the bank, it is actually your partner, we think the new species is looking for food, they are looking for a hormone we produce)
To me, perception, all too often is actually misconception. It becomes misconception from all of the 'human aspects' of our lives. We paint the image in our heads, instead of allowing us to see life and circumstance for what they are. If we walk around relying on our perceptions to equate reality, we might as well be not living at all, because you are not seeing anything.
A perfect example of this is actually something that has recently happened to me. My editor, God bless him, is perfectly suited to handle me. He knows what buttons to push when and he doesn't sugar coat anything for me. I rely and trust him to do that for me, and my writing.
Recently, my business manager came across an email he'd sent me in regards to one of my pieces. She read it, and by the time she was finished she was infuriated. She couldn't believe that I would stand for someone treating me in such an abhorrent manner. I simple smiled at her, and told her to take a breath. She took a moment and relaxed, then she looked back me in question. I then told her to push the emotion aside and read the email again. She objected at first and I insisted, stating that it was the only way she was going to understand.
So she did. She re read it and sat back. I let her chew on it for a while, and then asked her what she thought. She was ashamed to admit it but she agreed with him on almost every point. I nodded and said I know, I agree with him too. That's why I have him as an editor.
My friend had determined, in her instinctive protection of me, that this person was somehow being cruel and abusive to me. That was her perception of the email. Once I forced her to reset and realign her mind, essentially taking the emotion out of the equation, she saw the logic and truth of his insights in regards to my piece. The reality of the email was that he was right in everything he said, and he knew I needed to hear it. The perception of that from someone who does not know the relationship, is very different than the reality of it.
Another example, are the eye witnesses to a crime. While witnesses are important, they are of little use, as their perception of actual events will be skewed. I found this illustrated in a blog I read recently. In this blog the author goes through how several witnesses, of different ages, will inevitably disagree on the facts, even though the same event happen in front of them at the same time. Mr. Nork attributes this partially to age and social circumstance. I would have to agree with him. I would have to add, however, that while these factors may contribute to the oblique vision, in my humble opinion, it is the emotion that is the actual driving force of the skew.
Yes emotion. Whether it is a movie, a book, a crime or something as simple as a conversation, the individual emotion attached to that event (based on previous events) will skew the perception.
So is perception a good thing or bad thing?
Honestly, it is what you make it. There is a time to go with your emotion, and a time to see things for what they are. A balance of both, like everything else, is the best avenue for success.
So the lesson here, as a human? When you find yourself struggling with your own perceptions of the world around you, remember to take a step back. Remove the emotion and take things for what they are. You might find yourself in a better state for having done it and better equipped to make the decisions necessary to make a change if needed.
As an author? Perception is a powerful tool. It can make or break a plot, character or story so be careful.
Amy Romine has always wanted to be one of the good guys. From playing ‘Charlie’s Angels’ in the backyard of her Allentown, PA home as a child, to the pages of her most recent series, The Soul Mate Chronicles, Amy has always dreamt of adventure and romance. Her need to make characters truly deserve their happiness takes us on many a twisted journey. From serial killers to demons, Amy holds nothing back in the name of true enduring love.
A wife, mother of three, full-time corporate employee and now the author of two compellingly addictive series and finishing a third, her entrance onto the stage of romantic suspense has been an enthralling adventure all its own. Amy started writing in high school but didn’t take the professional plunge until three years ago when a little voice told her she was meant to be doing something more…
Since her premier release of Serenity Lost in October 2010 with Extasy Books, Amy has become the Prime Time Editor for BellaOnline, and regular contributing author to the Amazon Subscription Blog, ‘Red Lipstick Journals’. Amy is also an active eBook Author supporter lending her voice to encouraging new and indie eBook authors in striding toward their visions. Her own goal is to be a self sustaining author by 2014.
Amy currently resides in Arlington, Texas with her husband, and three children.
Amy’s novels can be found at Extasy Books, Amazon and Barnes and Noble Books