Putting sensory detail in writing connects the reader’s body to the character’s, puts them inside the story, triggering the very same associations that they would have in life on, say, hearing a cricket or needing a tissue for a dripping nose. That is what makes a story real for the reader.
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I enjoyed this video by Emilie Graslie of The Brain Scoop talking about the bullying aspect of sexist comments on the internet and how it affects women.
Hat tip to Upworthy.com for posting a video from 2009 that highlights a story by Neil DeGrasse Tyson that was in response to a question about genetic differences in women possibly accounting for why so few women enter scientific fields. His story about his journey to becoming a scientist illustrates his final point, which is that BEFORE scientists — and the rest of us — talk about genetic differences, we have to come up with a system where there’s equal opportunity.
The Upworthy video doesn’t play. Here’s a YouTube link that should start just before his comments, which begin in answer to a question at 1:01:48.
Apparently we have 2 systems for thinking in our heads. One is effortless, unconscious and very fast. It uses rules of thumb, prejudices, habit, and fuzzy approximation to get us through with a minimum of effort. It’s right about 70% of the time, and it believes that “done is beautiful.”