Ask any real photographer. There’s more to good photography than pointing the camera at something and clicking the shutter. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to do much more than that. If the subject matter is interesting and the lighting is right, I may be fortunate in catching a photo worth keeping. More often than not, however, I discard 90% of my efforts.
One thing I’ve learned by trial and error is that a good photo has a focal point – one single thing that captures the viewer’s attention. However subtle it is, it’s going to be the whole reason for the photo. Wherever the eye wanders, it will continually be drawn back to that one feature.
I’m convinced that’s as true in writing as it is in photography. Every chapter – indeed, every scene – should have a focal point. If the reader wanders into the scene, wallows there a while, and moves on without receiving a significant benefit, it’s likely that scene is superfluous to the story.
What’s meant to capture the reader’s attention? What’s the purpose of the scene? If there isn’t one you can point to, why is it there at all? I ask myself that question about a lot of the photographs I take. It’s the reason I throw so many of them away! It’s why I recently deleted over nine thousand words from my latest w.i.p., too.
Do you agree with me, or do you think there’s a place for ‘transitional’ scenes in stories? I’d like to hear your opinion.
“I pay close attention to the variety of shapes and sizes, and place the objects so that the lines and edges create a rhythm that guides the viewer’s eye around the image and into the focal point.”
“If Jesus Christ was who He claimed to be,
and He did die on a cross at a point of time in history,
then, for all history past and all history future
it is relevant because that is the very focal point
for forgiveness and redemption.”
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