WRITING IS A VISUAL PROCESS
Writing is a visual process. The characters, the setting, the time of day, even the conflict is something we craft in the scenes we display. A recent trip to Tuscany, Italy brought this fact home to me.
This beautiful country of contrasts, where time is a marriage of yesterday and tomorrow, opened my eyes to how I see. I was taking a photograph of ancient steps leading up to a medieval church, when my sister said,
“I’m following you and taking photos of whatever you photograph, because you see differently than me, and I like what you see.”
Interesting comment, right? I’m not a photographer, but I am drawn to the intersections of life, and less to the obvious passing me by. I notice the play of light, the shadows that linger, and I am fascinated by the reaches of buildings and sky. A pigeon in the side of a fortress wall will hold my attention, as does a dog bowl on a cobbled street, where visitors like me meet.
Images of the intersection of life draw me into story, which is my world it seems. Do you find your stories taking form through something you see?
A short walk in Tuscany and one travels through centuries - to a time of the Etruscans, to a time before Christianity. The land is riddled with relics of war that the invaders and armies ignored. Walled fortresses have now been transformed, into a home for wine shops and cafés, boutiques and other market places. Walls, once dividing and threatening, are now pulsing with life. Contrasts…a writer’s dream.
Dante, Petrarch, Machiavelli, Botticelli, Leonardo Da Vince and Michelangelo all walked the Tuscany streets. Now they dwell in galleries, churches, and libraries, but they are often seen on the streets.
What do you focus on? Do you notice the cardinals in the trees, the solitary fisherman standing on the edge of the stream, the old man in his garden pulling weeds, or the child high in the tree? What is it you see? Do you find stories awaiting you when you pause to see - the intersections of life surrounding you, surrounding me?