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!


Kelly said...

Giggles likes to look at the world from many points of view. She likes to take it all in. Grumbles has a hard time putting himself in another's shoes, and is a bit narrow minded. Grumbles is also a bit peeved at what his parents' named him because people perceive him to be grumpy, and he has internalized the grumpiness.

Gottawrite Girl said...

Gosh, and ok... it would seem that the first character has a lighthearted makeup. And the second? More like me... naturally negative. Brooding. Mentally obsessive and grinding.

: )

Does that sound horrible??!! Oy!

Well, and sorry for being away for so long... my break took on a life of its own!!!!

slhastings said...

Okay, I'm so brain dead right about now, I can't accept any more challenges! Just wanted to wish you a happy new year. We're gonna rock this year!

Marcia said...

The first person has a "clinging to the edge" view -- that people are secure on those balconies in a sense, yet they're really suspended out in the middle of the sky.

The second person sees nature as wild, dark, wide, and impersonal.

C.R. Evers said...

ohhhh! Good ones guys!

and happy New Year to you too SL!

Rena said...

Giggles lives for herself. She sees the world in the NOW. Everything revolves around her getting what she wants right now. Life is bright & cheery for her.

Grumbles sees the world as a darker place, maybe she feels like this isn't her real home. Though it seems she's more grim, she has a better grasp on what awaits her.

Brenda said...

Now remember, I'm catching up on a lot of blogs today, so I am not responsible for what I am about to write...unless it is good...and then I will eat a piece of chocolate to celebrate...grin...

Giggles sees the world as a tall mountain and she is ready to climb it and take on the world! This is why her pic has the balconies in the pic...this is how she sees her ladder to success...

Grumbles sees nothing but wide open spaces...he sees nothing in his future...he is alone and in need of a woman to tell him what to do...

Julia said...

What an interesting exercise! I'm so glad I followed up your link in an SCBWI post. As for the observers,I enjoyed reading the responses. Perhaps Giggles is the child of Grumbles. Giggles just can't help being bright and sunny. Grumbles is beginning to see light breaking through the darkness because of Giggles' sunshine. :) Thanks for giving me this exercise. I enjoyed it!