Monday, January 5, 2009
Wonder Writer Powers, ACTIVATE: Form of a human camera lens
That's right. the secret is out. Writers have Super Powers!
One such power is the ability to turn ourselves into a human camera lens.
One camera, one setting, one moment of time can be artistically altered to create a mood or capture a desired effect.
The author is the camera lens to the reader, only we get to pick the settings. The way you describe your character should also come through not just in descriptive narrative, but also in the way your character views the world around him/her.
Let's take this chance to flex our literary Super Skills shall we? Stretch, bend, fly around the room. There. I think we're all warmed up now.
Let's try this exercise together. The two photographs pictured are of the same scene the same general moment in time, only the photo's appear different because of the angle and camera settings that I used.
Now, here's the exercise, and please feel free to post your ideas in the comments below. There are no wrong answers. We're just brainstorming here.
1) Imagine that you have two characters looking at the same scene. Character 1 (We'll call her Snickergiggle) She see's the seen as picture in the top photo.
Character 2 (we'll call him Grumbleschnitz) He views the scene as pictured in the bottom photo.
2) Now, brainstorm. Why do they see each scene as they do? What events, idea's or circumstances influence how they see the world around them? What are they feeling? Why does one notice people and the sides of balconies, while the other notices the slants of light breaking through the clouds? Why does one see things lighter and the other darker?
3) this last step is for the brave only. Do not attempt this step if you are not properly stretched and hydrated. Now, tell me . . . what kind of descriptions could be used to describe this beach scene based on the viewpoint of the character. . . How would they describe the water, the clouds, the waves . . . etc. How could these pictures be described, not just to tell us about the scenery, but also to give us information about the character as well.
On your mark, get set . . . . GO!