Monday, May 26, 2014

Story Focus


Writing a story is like aiming a camera and focusing: do you want the wide landscape, the faraway shot, or the closeup? I often begin up real close, in the narrator's mind or with a close look at one or two characters in the midst of something . . . and then . . .



 . . . pull back . . .. . . to show where this takes place and who else is central to the story.

The focus usually moves in and out then, throughout the story: sometimes close in, sometimes further back.

Someone recently asked me how I choose which sort of focus to use, and the answer is that I simply follow how the scene is playing out (like a movie) in my head.  I don't feel as if I'm manipulating the 'camera'; I feel as if I'm following it, instinctively leaning in and pulling back.

Occasionally when I feel bogged down in the story, it is often because the focus is stuck--too close or too removed for too long--and a simple change of lens revives the movement.

Or something like that . . .
xx


11 comments:

  1. Now, that makes sense to me. Not just in writing but in the real world too. Too much focus screws up your perspective on things.
    Or something like that.

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  2. I feel the same way, Sharon. I find it easier to blog about someone else's business and their chosen topic, but when I'm faced with adding a blog post about mine, it's near impossible to find an idea, even with so many floating around in my mind.

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  3. I like the way you have described your thought process.

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  4. Oh, this is so interesting...I will think more on this...
    Thanks for sharing a bit of process.
    Something like magic I see here.
    Your "Something like that..." makes me smile.

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  5. The photos are perfect examples of what you write about in this post--they really make the idea of changing the focus in a story according to the context.

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  6. Have to admit I am in awe of writers Sharon.. to be able to sit in front of a computer, or typewriter (?) and hammer out hundreds of 'hopefully' absorbing words.. not sure if I could do it, might stick to aiming the camera.. or something like that :)

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  7. I have the same feeling when I choose pictures for blogging! :o))
    and "Something like that" will remain the quote of the day !:o)
    Always interesting to discover how it works in your mind..

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  8. I love how you start with a closeup of the leaves. If you had given us the garden image first, maybe we would've never noticed those beautiful little dewdrops?

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

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  9. Your photos and text make it so clear...guess that is why you do what you do so well!

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  10. Thank you for this. That first image is so captivating and then stepping back to get perspective takes the intensity away.

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