The eyes have it when it comes to conveying complex mental states

Our facial expressions give away more of what we’re thinking than we thought. New research shows that people’s eyes, in particular, are a dead giveaway.

The function behind a facial expression usually mirrors the person’s emotional state. So if someone is narrowing their eyes as if they are scrutinising something they are likely to be feeling thoughtful; wondering about something. If you feel as though you are being scrutinised then you probably are. Be careful that the other person isn’t just screwing up their eyes against the sun.

Continue reading

What Has It Got In Its Pocketses?

Gollum famously spoke these words in Lord of the Rings while looking for the One Ring, which Bilbo – and then Frodo – carried with him.

The ring gave powers to the wearer and spoke volumes about the person who carried it. It was one of the defining things about the characters and told of their quest as well as their character and motives.

Continue reading

Writing On The Right Side Of The Brain

negative_space.1


There is a book entitled, ‘The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain’, which teaches you to see in a different way.

Where drawing is concerned we often draw what we think we see (left brain) rather than what we can actually see (right brain).

For example, one of the exercises asks you to draw the spaces around and between the object you want to draw (negative space) rather than trying to draw the thing itself.

By not drawing the object itself you end up with a drawing of the object by an indirect means, often a more accurate portrayal than by concentrating on the object.

Continue reading

Can reading transform us?

image-Can reading transform us

It’s probably a given that story has the power to bring about change in the reader.

I’ve already discussed learning and empathy in a previous post, but it has long been recognised that reading good literature encourages self-reflection and change.

In an article from the New York Times

Continue reading

How observant are you? Using observation in story writing.

How observant are you?

Do you register faint changes in facial expressions? Do you notice the body language as one person passes something to another? Do you recognise the real meaning in people’s tone of voice?

These are all elements you can write into your story to make the characters, and what they do, more believable.

People watching

People watching is a great way to build up a resource to draw on.

Continue reading

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?

Continue reading

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.