So this week I was busy with work and life and when I had some time I was preoccupied with (forgive me) politics… There were some political developments I didn’t like so against my own advice, I had to go and argue with anonymous people on Facebook… But that gave me a little inspiration for today’s post (I wish it was for my novel though… although the message that I’ll try to pass is relevant.)
See, during these stupid arguments I was exposed again and again to the same irritating symptom. How can I define it?… Let’s do a little exercise. Look at this picture and tell me what you see (By the way, the photo comes up on the first search results on google images when I searched the term “photo”, just to show that it’s completely random):
If you said “A soldier, a woman in a bikini, a man and a hill” then you are the person I was arguing with 🙂
It’s about looking at the “picture”, be it an actual photograph, an object, an event or a person and seeing more than what the eyes plainly see.
Ernest Hemingway once wrote a very short story: “For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn” That was making use of every word, but this could very well be a picture that holds more that you plainly see. What Mr. Hemingway saw in those baby shoes is the story behind them. What I try to see in events is more that the event itself. That would be… boring.
There’s a choice every writer ultimately needs to make. It is – do you want to write a description of an event (or a series of events)? Or do you want to write a story?
If it’s the first, you can chronicle your daily activities on a diary (although even a diary needs a tad more in order to be interesting). If you chose the latter, then you have to look behind the pixels and the obvious. One needs to know not just what happened but also why. It doesn’t even stop there.
“Why did the chicken cross the road?” goes the joke. Indeed why. We saw the chicken crossing. Is it REALLY because it wanted to get to the other side? Could it be that it just ripped off the old fox and crossing the road was its only chance of escape? Or maybe there was a handsome rooster strutting on the other side. Is it SIMPLY to get to the other side?
Things aren’t always what they seem, so wouldn’t it be a little more interesting to see something and when you ask “why”, the logical explanation isn’t even the real one? Many spy stories are like that. You think you made the right conclusion, but the reason behind someone’s action might be what he WANTS you to think, while the REAL reason is revealed later on.
I hereby suggest a cross blog exercise.
Here’s another random photo taken from google images using the search term “photo”:
If you’d like, please tell us using 500 words or more (up to you) what you see in that photo 🙂
By all means, post a link to your blog in the comments section. I’ll even re-blog my favorite story!
What do you think? Let me know right under this post.