Every Picture Tells A Story


What do you see when you look at a picture? Do you ever wonder about the story behind the photograph? If you’re a writer, it can rattle around your brain in different ways as the image seeps into your imagination and begins to grow into a story. In this photo, for example, is the woman standing in the sunset or in the sunrise?  She’s on the beach, of course. And the water is rippling close. Is the sand cold beneath her toes or is it holding the last warmth of a hot summer’s day? What’s going through her mind? What course of events has brought her to this time and place? Where did she come from? Where might she be going after the sun dips low or rises high above her? Writers look at photos and wonder about these sorts of things.
We don’t know what she is thinking, any of her history, or why she is letting that little crab crawl over her foot. This process is a big part of the beauty of photography and letting one’s imagination run free.
Many writers describe themselves as “visual” writers. Their words are descriptive of the scenes running in their heads. It’s like they are writing the script of the movie currently playing in their personal video stream.
They see the pictures as clearly as you see this photo. Much of their writing is like seeing photographs and following the thoughts those pictures inspire. Visual writers tend to ask questions and answer them as they write, giving the character a life that goes beyond what is obvious from the photo.

Read the entire article in the September 2019 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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