Thursday, July 7, 2011

A picture's worth a thousand words

*my friend Erin

A picture is worth a thousand words.

This picture obviously says fun to anyone looking. Girl singing into spoon in vehicle. What's not fun about that?
Anyone one who was there and experienced this moment would see even more here. I can almost hear our laughs as we goof off taking stupid pictures of doing silly things. Yes, we sing into Wendy's spoons loudly while driving down the road to a friends house. Pictures jog the memory so I will always have this moment to make me smile and think of my friend.

For a writer the rule is more like a paragraph is worth a really good picture. Instead of using a picture to tell a story writers use words to paint a picture...then a scene...then a story. If we can manage to do so successfully the reader will be pulled into and absorbed into the story. The characters and scenes will be real enough so the reader feels they could look up and be there with those characters.

I sometimes get a little wordy in my descriptions. It's about a balance. Creating your character with words that are gestures and personality so then in turn tell the story for you. Instead of "He made her feel tense as he walked over." we might substitute " She felt her muscles tense as she watched him strut toward her."

"I had a hard time getting onto the floor to dance because it was late and so crowded."
"I squeezed, shoved, and struggled my way to the dance floor to gyrate with all the other die hard party goers."


  1. You made a really solid point! I love that about a book or a short story, where I feel like I'm standing in the middle of what's going on WITH the characters, only they aren't characters, I KNOW them. I care for and despise them, I'm their friend or enemy, I'm in the action, part of the gang. I really love being sucked into another time, another place, with those I feel I know.

    BTW, how is Chris? I'm no longer on Facebook and I'm slowly paying more attention to my two blogs so I've probably missed any updates. I hope he well! And how are you and the kids? Such a lovely family you have!!!

  2. Hannah,
    Thanks so much for your comments. I get so busy I don't post as often as I'd like. Chris is doing well. He is back with his unit. He still has a good bit of pain in his knee, but he is on scheduel to return with the rest of his unit. How are ya'll?