Today my father and I participated in an annual event in our town. Each year we, along with a thousand or so others, create art. The participants range from children in diapers to professional artists that spends hours upon hours crafting their picture. Our medium? Chalk and sidewalk. This morning, our creation took about two hours to finish and we are quite proud of it. In yesterday’s blog I talked about the power of THE WORD. Today I am going to talk about the power of THE PICTURE.
Now, how is this relevant to a writer? Good question. A writer cannot rely on a picture to convey meaning. But they can rely on words to PAINT a picture for the reader. Poetry is often a picture presented in concise thought-provoking stanzas. For books, descriptions of a scene are verbal pictures that pull the reader into the story.
So let’s paint a picture, shall we?
Version 1: A girl walked by eating ice cream.
Okay…boring. And it is hard to imagine any details.
Version 2: A little girl skipped by me eating ice cream, the cone melting.
Let’s try it one more time and really give the reader something to visualize.
Version 3: A toddler wobbled by me licking an ice cream cone. The scoop dripped in pink stripes down her chubby hands and stained the front of her yellow polka dot dress.
Now can you see it? Words like ‘toddler’, ‘wobbled’, ‘licking’, ‘dripped’, pink stripes’, ‘chubby’ all are strokes that fill in the details bring the painting to life.
So today, I created a picture with my father and hopefully painted a picture of what a writer’s responsibility it to their readers.
Our artistic rendering is pictured below…