There’s an old saying–a picture is worth a thousand words. As a writer, I sort of take that to heart, but not. Which makes no sense, right? Only to me, it does. Yes, I use words to paint the picture I want my readers to see. I use them to color my characters’ emotions, their environment, how they act. I translate the picture I have of the scene in my imagination into words so my readers can see it in theirs.
For some strange reason, the painting of “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by George Seurat always comes to mind when I think of that phrase. It’s the painting in the center of the movie “Sunday in the Park with George.” In the painting, people lounge along the river, enjoying the green grass and the shade of the trees despite their uncomfortable Victorian clothing. There are dogs sniffing around and a couple stands stiffly side-by-side as they gaze out over the scene. Some of the ladies carry parasols and some of the men are more formally dressed than others, denoting a difference in class. Now, don’t ask me why I think of this painting or the movie when the picture/1000 words comes up. Just the weird way my brain works. Anyway, while it’s talking of something else, the Universe keeps the writer in mind…
One of the most transformative things you could ever begin doing, Silver, is to start “thinking in pictures.”
Of what you want, of what you love, of who you dream of becoming.
Thoughts become things,
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And to think such thoughts, Silver, with your heart.
How does this apply to writing? We have to imbue our characters with wants and desires, give them a story arc so they can become who they dream of becoming. And then I’ll use those 1000 words to paint the scene around them–the river and the trees and the uncomfortable clothes, and of course, a dog or two, or even a cat. Or maybe a Wolf. But why should I think such thoughts with my heart? Becasue I write romance. 😉 Sounds simple, right? So, writers, do you think in pictures? And readers, who do you dream of becoming?