Descriptive Writing – Layering your imagery

Dear Photograph - click to go to websiteI wanted to follow up from my post about a website called: Dear Photograph.

The photographs on the website conjure up some brilliant imagery of layering story.

The concept behind it is simple: take an old photograph of people you know and hold it up against the original backdrop where it was taken and photograph it so that past and present blend into one photograph.

The results are very poignant.  Continue reading

Show, Don’t Tell – Descriptive Writing Using Imagery

Some time ago I stumbled across the website, Dear Photograph. It works on the simple idea of taking an old photograph of people you know and holding it up against the original backdrop where it was taken and photographing it so that past and present blend into one photograph.

Along with the images, the photographers write a very short piece about the picture they have uploaded. In a combination of words and image, a vivid story emerges that is often far more than the sum of its parts.

You can see where this is going, can’t you?

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Writing Prompt – Two elderly men discover they have met before

Two elderly men in a nursing home exchange life stories during their time there.

They gradually come to realise they are not strangers to each other as they have previously thought.

Their paths have crossed before.

Who’s saying what and how?

Do you use he said and she said when writing dialogue? Do you think they’re old-fashioned or redundant?

Or do you lean towards some of the alternatives given in the diagram?

In my opinion there are some valid alternatives given here but they should be used very sparingly and very carefully, and only to enhance the speech.

You don’t want too many elaborate verbs to get in the way of your dialogue.

Let’s take an example using a couple of the suggestions given: Continue reading

Picture prompt – a stranger led you to this bazaar and left you there

A stranger led you into this bazaar and then abandoned you there. What were you doing with them in the first place and why did they lead you there?

Can you describe your surroundings and how it feels to be standing there not knowing where you are or how to get out?

You can hear a bell tolling nearby, where is it coming from and what does it mean?

Picture prompt – where are you and where are you going?

You are standing behind the girl with the backpack.

Where are you and where are you going?

Describe your surroundings – are they familiar or strange? Are you lost?

What is she looking at and why are you behind her? Are you with her?

What can you see and smell?

Picture Prompt – Describe this seascape without using the word sea

Describe the scene pictured without using the word sea.

Can you use words that will describe the spray from the wind-whipped waves?

Bring the sparkle of sunlight on water to life and paint a picture of how it feels to be standing here looking at this scene.

Write what you know – debunking the myth

If you keep up with any writing advice on social media, or even in books about writing, you’re bound to have seen the advice, ‘Write what you know.’

It implies you should only write about stuff that you know about or have experienced.

Let’s get one thing straight – you already know a great deal. Not necessarily what it’s like to be an astronaut or a potholer but there are things you can tap into that will enable you to write about such things. Continue reading