Thursday, August 18, 2011


I went for a hike yesterday - 1.3 miles of woods in the nature center in town - and I brought my camera. When I look through the lens of my camera, I see differently. I pay more attention to details, I look for light and shadow. I try to find something interesting to show.

I do the same when I write.

This is a standard picture, kind of boring - a little critter on a big path through the woods.

Of course, I'm not done. I take it home, load it onto my computer and fiddle with it. I zoom in on some detail and I get this:

Kind of sinister, isn't he?

By zooming in, I can emphasize details - the odd light in his eye, the way he's poised to run.

And for me, this is like editing a story. Deciding what I want to emphasize and what tension I want in the image I'm describing.

I think what I'm saying is that writing and editing have two different kinds of perspective - one is the overall "what the story is about" and the other is honing in on the details.

How do you look at a story?

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