We’ve written a bit about the power of images to tell stories and about the limitations of too many images vs. written stories.
Can you use images to “carry” your stories?
Not just illustrate, but actually carry your narrative arc forward?
That’s a screenwriter’s task, right? And a director’s. Use visual imagery to craft a story for the audience – and often to add meaning and subtext.
Can you do that with single, still images? Let’s give it a try.
Example 1: Using an image to illustrate.
Prince Landon arrived at Lord Mortiger’s castle at the last light of day. The fortress, surrounded by sheer rock cliffs, could only be reached by crossing a single drawbridge.
To rescue Maia, he’ll have to fight his way over the heavily guarded bridge and then figure out how to enter the castle.
Most ominous: Mortiger’s have begun to raise the drawbridge for sunset.
Example 2: Using an image to carry the story
As Prince Landon rode up to Lord Mortiger’s castle, the fortress seemed to breathe its contempt for his puny efforts.
The heavily guarded drawbridge was only the first of many perils between him and Maia.
His biggest problem:
Do captions matter?
Is there a difference in the way you “hear” the two versions of the story?
It may be a little bit unfair to load up all of the detail (scant as it is) in the first story before presenting the second.
But can you intuitively pick up the detail in the second? The lateness of the hour (which, we know, could also be earlyness! but we’re not early risers, we’re writers!), the impregnability of the castle, the singular entry via the drawbridge?
And how does the caption help or hurt your experience?
Does it resonate any more or any less with your connection to the story?
This is all a bit experimental, as you can tell. Or it will be until somebody sells a million of these books via Kindle!
Then everybody can tell us they knew it all along!
In the meantime, we face two challenges:
If you’re a traditional novel or story writer, can you adjust your storytelling technique to “show more, say less”?
If you’re trained in screenplay story beats, can you add enough detail to your stories to engage someone who is reading the words?
And how does this apply to non-fiction or .. heaven help us .. technical writing?
Can’t wait to hear your input.
Thanks for stopping by Ames Media and the Qunaia project.
SL User Alex Bader (via KoinUp.com)