This week: Visual StorytellingEdited by: Annette
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Tension, emotions, character development all benefit from visual storytelling. Let us create unforgettable characters, breathtaking images, and edge of the seat tension.
Characters and stories come to life through images.
Figurative language has been used by writers for hundreds of years. Show the world that is lived in by your characters in ways that make it relatable. This will create empathy in your reader.
Use words to create a canvas.
Just how you might feel like touching a painting to see if it is real, get your readers to believe that your story could be real. Let your reader see and feel the story through taste, touch, smells and sounds. Clothes, for instance, have a texture, but they also have a sound. Sometimes, fabric has a scent. Use those details to get your reader close to the characters of your story.
Wide angle and close up.
Just how a skilled cinematographer will use both wide angle shots to give an overview and then go up close, you should write in a way that the reader sees the situation as a whole, and then the details that matter the most.
Once you have established certain areas, certain characters, and even certain behaviors, repeat earlier words - but not all - to recreate the feeling of a place for the reader. Make him feel comfortable in your world by reinforcing the idea that while there is all of that action going on, he is in a safe place that he can rely on also.
Create tension with unexpected revelations.
Writing in third person point of view is beautiful because it allows the writer to enter every single angle of the story. If someone walks along a path toward someone, have that someone turn out to be a dog welcoming the hero home. Or, if you want to play with inanimate objects, a car that is happy to have its best driver back.
Enter a specific point of view.
Not which point of view you write from (third person, first person). The point of view from which the narrator looks out into the world. Have the reader experience everything from the main character's angle for a scene or two.
Action & adventure writers, as you shake up your characters and have them jump over obstacles and get through their journey, ask yourself at each step whether a reader can really see it.
Reviewers, let a writer know when you can't see. Let a writer know when you could see everything. Let a writer know when it's too much or could use a touch more.
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Replies to my last Action/Adventure newsletter "The Hero's Journey" . Do you believe in the monomyth?
Monty wrote: Some quick ideas on action individuals.
Elfin Dragon - contest hunting wrote: There are several cases to believe in the monomyth. Dragons - all cultures have at least one version of one and the story of Noah and the flood is also multicultural.
ForeverDreamer (Vaccinated) wrote: Campbell's work is very interesting. I don't know if I believe in the monomyth. I do know that certain motifs occur over and over in myrs and folktales from all over the world, and from very different cultures.
John Little wrote: Even if there isn't, it is a great structure for storytelling.
TheBusmanPoet wrote: No. Anything that's defined as a myth in your mind or not is still a myth=Not real in my opinion. I deal with reality in this realm of consciousness.
Bilal Latif wrote: Well, the monomyth was Joseph Campbell's identification of shared archetypical elements amongst narratives across disparate human cultures, indicative of a collective unconscious.
In other words, the monomyth or hero's journey is not intended as a writing structure or template. Rather, it simply identifies why certain narratives tend to recur and resonate in psychologic terms, usually because the characters in those narratives pass through stages reflecting our own psychological maturation.
I wouldn't say I 'believe' or 'disbelieve' in the monomyth, however I do tend to agree with Campbell's observations on the psychological underpinnings of many of these cross-cultural narrative similarities.
Scifiwizard wrote: Actually, there are three stages to a monomyth. Departure, initiation, and return. Through this, a writer can fill in the gaps with what surrounds each stage. The objective that leads the hero to depart, what the hero does to reach said objective and what the hero does upon finishing.
Steven, Alone & Lonely wrote: Required reading this semester at university, Campbell's The Hero With A Thousand Faces.
Have to admit, it makes for satisfying story-telling. But subverting it is also acknowledging it exists. A good starting point nowadays, I believe.
woolwaulker wrote: Hell yes!
jolanh wrote: Yup
Zen wrote: The Hero's Journey isn't a structure, it's a framework that hangs on the 4-part story structure. It's purpose is to keep the story moving, provide key moments in the hero's character arc *and* the 4-part structure, and to show the reader that the story is progressing.
It can be leveraged to work with other structures (including the spiral structure), and this shows its independence from the story structure. I've created a graphic that shows how THJ relates to the 4-part structure and the character arc here (click on it, and then click it again to get it full size): https://philip-p-ide.uk/doku.php/blog/articles_on_writing/story_structure
That is some resource for storytelling you created there!
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