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"Every picture tells a story" (Version 2)
Prepared by: Rheal Nadeau
Posted on: March 8, 2003
Reposted on: January 11, 2004
Reposted on: January 16, 2005
Reposted, revised, on: March 25, 2007
Exercise: In 100 to 300 words or less describe a single moment in time -- a snapshot that tells a story without dialogue or action, but is capable of capturing a revealing moment that evokes an entire story. Use simple descriptive language, and remember to show, not tell.
- Often a scene, a photo, or a drawing, can tell an entire story without any action, words, interpretation, or explanation.
- A walk can reveal a half-eaten orange lying on the ground, a gate hanging from one hinge, or an elderly gentleman standing at the corner of a busy street. An empty house with broken windows, leaves floating in a swimming pool, or an abandoned toy on a side walk--all lend themselves to this exercise.
- With careful attention to detail, help the reader to see that defining moment in time.
- If you include people in the scene, remember to describe the scene as if you were looking at a snapshot.
What is the single revealing moment you take away from the scene's description?
What part of the writing helped you to see the moment hidden in the picture?