Monday, April 25, 2011

Moving Pictures

Writing that comes alive in a reader's mind uses what I call the D.A.D. Technique(Description, Action, and Dialogue) to connect the movie playing in the writer's imagination to the blank screen in the reader's head. The vivid verbal movie is in "HD" and "3D" when the writer employs multisensory imagery and realistic dialogue, along with revealing close ups on characters, to transfer the footage to the reader. Writing that uses only dialogue conveys a mere audio clip, with a blank picture. Writing that uses only visual description without enough action serves as a mere slide show; whereas action scenes, with little description and no dialogue, portray nothing more than a silent movie in the reader's cerebral screen.

Memorable words comprise experiences, first conceived in a writer's mind, and then translated into words that SHOW, not merely tell about the scene. If we writers cannot get a clear picture of a scene in our own heads, we are not yet ready to transfer that scene to paper, and then to a reader's mind. Writing to communicate word pictures requires time to imagine and time to craft a preview version, time to share the preview, and time to revise it before the debut of the fully developed feature film of words.

As books move more and more to screens over pages, we writers need to keep in mind the importance of creating memorable images to compete with our sister industry, that of Film.