The subject of a photograph isn’t as important as the exposure and composition. Last week I posted an unsuccessful photo that blurred because the shutter speed couldn’t cope with the vehicle’s speed, and yet three people commented that they found the shot “interesting,” “engaging” and “fun.” Accidental shots can have fascinating results.
When I’m framing a photo I try for an interesting, balanced composition but sometimes, even with the ideal subject, there’s too much background clutter or competing colours. It’s not until the photo is developed that we discovered the old telephone-pole-growing-from-a-person’s-head problem. Thank goodness for PhotoShop!
The principles of good photography can also be applied to novel writing. Having an interesting plot isn’t enough. Getting the composition right, knowing when there’s too much useless clutter, deciding what to leave in and what to “crop” during revisions – it’s all part of our education as writers.
Some folks may have a natural “eye”, but I’ve been told that the difference between a good photographer and a mediocre one is in the number of photos they discard that you never get to see.
It strikes me that might equate to our novel writing, too. How many attempts have you discarded in your effort to produce a piece that’s gallery material? (Don’t ask me, though. I’ll never tell!) What do you feel is the most important aspect of effective storytelling?