Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday Takes a Tour

I am currently Skyping with my friend Lander. The best part? He lives on the west coast. The worst part? He lives on the west coast. Ergo (and I love that word), I don't get to see him in person.

But now that I have figured out how to use Skype, I do get to see him. (Hi, Lander!)

Which brings up an interesting idea--how much is a picture/image worth, even if you yourself are not in the place of the picture? We've all heard the "a picture is worth a thousand words" thingamajig--so does that mean I can assemble a manuscript made up of seventy pictures and call it a novel?

No, probably not.

No, still probably not even if those pictures are of chupacabras/LOLcats/small rodents in party hats/cool urban graffiti/Misha Collins.

(Maybe Misha Collins...)

However, those pictures still can be worth a thousand words (or a hundred or a million, it depends on how concise/not concise you are) if you explain them. Lander gave me a tour of his house via Skype. If he hadn't been explaining what I was seeing, I would have been thoroughly confused. But all of the images on my screen went together quite nicely because Lander was telling me helpful information, like, "This is my couch. Die Hard is on the TV." Et cetera.

But at the same time, he could have totally made stuff up. "This is my couch. It is where my grandfather died. His last words to me were, 'Tag: you're it.' Now every time I see this couch, I remember those dying words and wonder what they could possibly mean." And bam, his living room would be transformed from the chill area to the den of mystery.

So good writing exercise: pick a picture and write two completely different stories based upon it.

Or give two different friends Skype tours of your house. You control the picture and the information. Kind of like how you control what you write--see how I drew a parallel there?

I won't be able to post the next two weeks, but I will try to understand Blogger enough to have it post some of my favorite older posts.

Happy Tuesday!