Monday, March 12, 2012

A Storyteller's Eyes

It didn't take me long to realize, after starting my first novel, that I'm a visual writer. I picture everything, whether in motion or stilled.

As a choreographer of dance, my thoughts ran on an inner movie screen, piecing together, pairing steps, and gaining an overall perception of what I wanted to communicate. Sometimes it was an entire storyline, while other times a simple emotion like rage or envy, concern or wonder. I've even shown chaos--that's always fun.

The more I write, the more I see my storyteller eyes honing and gasping more sensitively. My awareness of the world around me and the world's I create is greater and so is my perception. How do I see a particular scene or event as opposed to how I could see them.

Seeing how I haven't celebrated any prompts recently, I decided it was probably time. It can never hurt to find a bit of inspiration or even nudging on a Monday morning. Call this my gift of writer caffeine to you, only visually. I'm going with visual prompts.

Where could this setting take your character? Why is he there?
Did he come to meet someone or is he running?
Just yumm!!!! How could you use food
in your character's world?
What about emotions? What does your character want?

Have a great writing day!!


  1. Your pics reminded me of some advice I received when writing for teen boys - use food, lots and lots of food in your story, that and action.

  2. That's great how you can see the questions these pictures could raise. I'm sure your dancing experience helps too.

  3. Sheri, having read some of your writing, I can definitely see this! You build every scene visually, describing the characters, their actions, their gestures. I tend to do this, too.

    And I write fat. I end up going back and trimming some of the gestures and descriptions afterwards, to cut words. And my current editor has had me cut even more, to streamline scenes. And she's also had me put back some things I cut previously, because they were necessary and I didn't realize it. I'm learning from her how to get the most visual impact from a scene by writing less words overall, but leaving the descriptions in just the right places.

    I doubt it will ever change the style in which I write first drafts, but I'm hoping to learn some better editing skills from this whole process!

  4. My editor has trimmed some of my descriptions, too. For action scenes in particular, I definitely choreograph the scene so the action feels real (I watch a lot of videos to help me with that), but I wouldn't say I'm particularly visual.

  5. Yeah - Sarah and Dianne,

    I tend to write with a cinematic flare. There are pros and cons to this. I need to show the audience the action and emotions, but also let them imagine and dream a bit more. I'm learning how to cut some of my stage direction. :D

  6. I so want a cupcake right now!

    I tend to have to add in more description after I write the rough draft.

  7. LOVE this post! I'm super visual too, but I still end up needing to add detail. Weird, huh?! :)

    1. No. That's not weird, Shannon. I'm a detail fanatic, too. :D

  8. Awesome, Sheri! These are great pix. I especially like the wisteria shot. Ooo...

    You know, it's funny because I'm more of a visual learner--in that if I hear something but don't see it, all bets are off on whether I'll remember it. But I think I'm more of an auditory writer. Does that make any sense?

    Cool stuff~ <3

  9. I'm a visual person as well, although it doesn't always spill over into my writing. Working on that!

  10. Strangely, I find myself wanting a cupcake and a serene place to enjoy it... :D

  11. CUPCAKES!!!!!

    What a lovely scene. I picture everything too...just have to describe it right, LOL!

  12. Pictures can inspire a terrific story. These pictures inspire me to eat a cupcake or two outside beneath a pretty tree or in a garden! :)

  13. I love that picture of the trees and water. That was food for my eyes, more than the cupcake!

  14. Pictures inspire me. I love the nature shot best, although the cupcake looks delicious.

  15. I am also a very visual writer. There's something about pictures and movement that inspires me to come up with new ideas!


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