Saturday, March 13, 2010

Communication Meltdowns

I experienced a communications meltdown today. Actually, it's been going on for a bit, but I've only just caught up to speed. I'm a little slow on the uptake. ;-)

Anyway, It got me thinking and talking about the importance of clear communications, and how absolutely impossible that task is. You can say the exact same thing to seven different people, and have them interpret it seven different ways. Of course. We all perceive things through our own, individual filters of experience, beliefs, etc.

But, as a writer, I have to cringe a bit. We know that 90% of your meaning comes from HOW you say something and only 10% (I'm fudging numbers a bit here) comes from the words. So in verbal communication with body language, facial expression and tone involved, you still get misunderstood probably 7 out of ten times. But in written expression, ie: the books I write, I don't have facial, body or tone cues to give my reader. So they are deciding on my meaning based on strictly words, which is only ten percent of the equation. EEEEK.

Panic. Talk about bringing home how important your word choice is in your writing.
I'm not sure, at that rate, how anyone manages to convey anything clearly, but I suspect is has a lot to do with imagery, detail, mannerism that sneak into your story.

Thank god for our characters. At least they know how to get the point across.


1 comment:

M Pax said...

That is interesting, isn't it?

It is amazing sometimes how what is on the page is interpreted by others. It's like, oh, I had no idea I said that. :)