Speaking From the Heart – Visual Storytelling

One night while having dinner with some friends I tried to open my mind and share my passion for writing. If you’ve ever tried to have a conversation like this with someone who isn’t into it, then you can probably understand the difficulties that are inherent to this scenario.

There are some things that you just have to be on the inside of to understand. Writing happens to be one of those.

The example I used was this: “There’s a bicycle leaning against a tree.”

I gave them a minute and then asked them to describe what they saw to me. The answers varied because they had drawn on their own life experiences to create the image I asked of them. Some of them pulled from the real experiences, and some from images they had seen in TV or movies.

If,  as an author, I needed that bike to be a specific brand or color, I would have told them to imagine it and provided more detail.

Because I didn’t provide any more direction for their minds than I did, they were able to supply the image they emotionally connected with and were ready to see what happened to that bicycle with whatever came next in the story.

When you are telling a story be sparse with descriptions unless you truly need the detail for a story point. This will allow the reader to directly connect to your story, and start to immerse themselves in actually becoming the character you are creating.

You can change perspective with the direction you provide, or with the direction you don’t.

What perspective do you want your reader to have when they read your work?

Once you know that, it not only informs how you communicate to them, but how they respond to the words you are giving them.